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SAB I N A. 



a iRobel. 



BY 



LADY WOOD, 

AUTHOR OF "ROSEWARN." 



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LONDON : 
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1869. 



tjs-sS b. ■^-■iaS^^'i 



S A B I N A. 




CHAPTER I. 

" Neat was their house, each table, chair, and stool, 
Stood in its place, or moving — moved by rule."- — Crabbe. 

EVER was a mansion better ordered than that in 
which Mabel Snow passed her infancy and child- 
hood. 

She was the second daughter of a very wealthy 
timber merchant who belonged to the Society of Friends. 

His wife and himself were of the strictest of the sect, 
having become convinced Quakers, i.e., not born in the 
society, but entering it on conviction, after they had attained 
a mature age. 

She was a stern, hard-headed woman, who had enjoyed 
sufficiently the things of this world, and had seen the vanity 
of them, before she had cropped her soft brown hair, and 
covered her head with a Quaker's cap. 

Indeed one of the children had dislodged from the bottom 
of a chest on one occasion a miniature set in a gigantic 
locket, representing " the mother," as she was called in the 
family, in a black hat and white feather, and a scarlet riding- 
habit. It was looked at with awe, and concealed again 
immediately, as giving an indication that "the mother" had 
at one time been less perfect than they had ever known her. 

Rachel Snow's ambition had been formerly to lead the 



2 Sabina. 

hunting field in her scarlet dress. Now it was to govern, not 
only her husband and her family, but to influence by her 
talent the sect to which she had allied herself. 

She was pleasant to look at — now in her fortieth year — a 
faultlessly fair skin and pink cheeks, with bright blue eyes, 
almost too bright and piercing, and her rather too plump 
bosom was shaded by a white muslin kerchief; and over her 
shoulders, to which it was confined by two pins, hung a 
drab-coloured shawl. Her dress was of gray silk, and her 
whole appendants betokened the most scrupulous care and 
neatness. 

Precisely at half past eight o'clock in the morning, 
without reference to differing seasons, the breakfast bell 
rang, and the mother made the tea for her husband, and 
allotted to each child his allowance of bread and milk. Tea 
was too expensive a luxury at ten shillings per pound for the 
younger members of the family, and sugar was not per- 
mitted to any, as it was then bought by the tears and groans 
of slavery. 

At nine o'clock the father started for his counting-house, 
and did not return till six in the evening, when he dined 
alone with his wife, the children having partaken of their 
meal at one o'clock. When the late dinner was concluded, 
they all, with the exception of the infant, came trooping in 
to romp with their father, from whom came all the indul- 
gences they received, and none of the strict laws under 
which they lived. 

Poor Mr. Snow had given up his creed, at the endless 
solicitations of his wife. He had kept his allegiance to his 
Church, so long as he had strength to resist, but her power 
increased as his dwindled ; and at length his coat lost its 
rolling collar and became of the orthodox cut and colour, 
and he was carried, an unresisting victim, in a large covered 
spring cart, to the meeting of Friends every first day; a 
carriage and pair would have been too great a pomp and 
vanity for these strict Quakers. 

The small ornaments about his room — the framed en- 
gravings in which his heart had delighted — disappeared one 
by one. The woodman, with his background of snow 
whose long face had for years looked wistfully out of the 
picture into the warmly curtained and carpeted room 



Sabina. 3 

and the " Domestic Peace," representing a handsome young 
man in profile, sitting negligently outside a cottage shadowed 
by gigantic hollyhocks and gazing lovingly on a sweet-look- 
ing woman and her child, doing nothing in particular : — 
Mr. Snow saw these depart, and groaned in spirit. One 
treasure remained, a circular mirror, which had belonged to 
his mother, and had so often represented the family circle of 
his youth, diminished into fairy sizes. 

He had enjoyed to see his own dining table, and his wife's 
comely form, and the prettiness of his children, made prettier 
and more delicate in the reflection ; but the harmless glass 
was doomed, and a deeper red in the circle on the crimson 
flock paper where it had occupied a place, seemed to blush 
for its absence. «• 

Women so love power that they enjoy its exercise on the 
minutest subjects ; and as land, on which the sea has 
begun to encroach, is nibbled inch by inch into the swallow 
of the voracious ocean, the man's, if a softer character, is 
absorbed by constant action of the stronger on its surface. 

Mrs. Snow abstained totally from all fermented fluids; her 
husband, on the contrary, enjoyed his half-bottle of port 
every day after a dinner, which he expected to find well 
cooked and of good material. Like poor Louis of France, 
he was fond of pastry. 

" Will the mother order any mince-meat to be made this 
season, dost thou know ? " he said timidly, one evening to 
his eldest girl, who had come in with the rest for her even- 
ing's enjoyment. 

The query was made at his wife, but addressed to her 
favourite child. The daughter looked at her mother in- 
quiringly. 

"Thou art a great deal too fond of pampering thine 
appetite, Friend Snow. It is not fitting that mince-meat 
should be made to minister to thy carnal desires." 

Friend Snow succumbed. How could he do otherwise 
when his wife's blue eyes gleamed menacingly at him, and 
her hand was raised in admonition ? The port wine was 
the next object to be attacked. She knew that to deprive 
her husband suddenly and entirely of the amount of stimulant 
to which he had been accustomed since boyhood would 
probably injure his health, so her first step was to change 



4 Sabina. 

the pint-and-a-half decanters to three which contained halt 
the quantity, for if the truth must be confessed, Friend Snow 
was sometimes in the habit of taking an extra glass out of 
the allowance intended for the morrow, when a little more 
fatigued during the day, or a little increased exhilaration in 
consequence of a fortunate stroke of business, inclined him 
to indulgence, and necessitated the opening of a fresh bottle 
on the following day. 

Walter cannot drink more than he ought, if he have it not 
to drink, was the incontrovertible fact stated to herself by 
the female Friend, as she ordered the servant to decant half 
a bottle into a small decanter. 

The unhappy man saw it, and made no remark. It was 
a silent reproof to him for various little excesses of which he 
was now and then guilty. He felt the reproach and bore it 
manfully, fearing that a storm might come if he remonstrated, 
so he drank the reduced quantity, and went his way, lest a 
worse thing should befall him, and the wine disappear 
altogether. 

One evening, when the party were gathered round the 
evening fire, one rebellious boy mounted on the back of his 
father' s chair with his legs round Friend Snow's neck, and a 
beautiful child of five years was danced upon his knee, a 
female servant knocked at the door and said that a woman 
in distress wished to speak to him immediately. 

The Friend rose slowly — he did not like being disturbed 
when his day's work was over, and he had begun to enjoy 
himself. He expected a claim either on his comfort or his 
purse, or both; but with human imperfections both the 
husband and wife were thoroughly good, conscientious 
people. So he repeated to himself— " Whoso hath this 
world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth 
up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God 
in him ? " So he followed the servant to the back door, 
where he found a woman, whom he recognised as being the 
sole attendant of a poor widow, who inhabited a ruinous 
house, about a quarter of a mile from his own substantial 
mansion. 

" Oh, Sir ! please will you come to missus. She is a dyinff, 
and only the child there, and I dare not go for a doctor 'tis 
so far." 



Sabina. 5 

" I will come, friend. Go back. I will follow thee." 
And he returned to the dining-room to say whither he was 
going. 

Mrs. Snow arose and procured from her spirit-stand 
brandy, and from her medicine-chest sal volatile. She had 
ever at hand everything which might be required on an 
emergency. " Thou mayest find these useful, perchance, or, 
as I should more correctly say, as it may be ordered, seeing 
that chance is not recognised by a Christian people. If I 
can aid thee in thy ministration to the widow, and it 
may be to the orphan, I will join thee at the bed-side, if 
thou wilt send for me. Sarah had better accompany thee, 
as thou mayest need a messenger." 

Mrs. Snow allowed her children to romp till they were 
tired, and then astronomical and geographical games for the 
elder children, and dissecting maps for the younger ones, 
finished the evening, and the mother went to bed and slept 
sweetly, though she knew her husband had not returned. 




CHAPTER II. 




" She was a wayward, elfish child, 

With hair unkempt and gleaming eyes, 
Whose steps unwatched had wandered wild 
Beneath bright suns, or sullen skies." 

HE next morning Mr. Snow walked into the break- 
fast-room just as his wife had made the tea. 

" I have brought thee a small charge for the 
present, Rachel," said he, referring to a little 
child, who seemed about eight or nine years old, in a shabby 
black frock, whom he led by the hand. 

"Thou hast been up all night," said the quick-eyed 
woman, glancing at the soiled face, dishevelled hair, and 
tumbled frock of the stranger. " Poor child ! I will take 
thee to Betsy." 

The stranger griped the hand of the kind man who had 
brought her, the only one not quite a stranger in a room full 
of unfamiliar faces, but had to yield to the determination of 
the mistress of the house, who hurried her off to be attired 
in a suit belonging to one of her children, whose size 
most resembled that of the orphan. The stranger sub- 
mitted cheerfully to the necessary ablution and brushing ; 
but on the attempt to attire her in a nankeen suit of the 
Quakeress, she rebelled and insisted on having the old black 
frock replaced. 

" I will wear black for papa and mamma ! " and she 
sobbed so violently that the kind-hearted Betsy, weeping also, 
brought her a cup of tea and some bread and butter from 
the kitchen, feeling that she should not like to show a blub- 
bered face in a room full of strangers, were she in sorrow. 



Sabina. 7 

Before the ringing of the bell for the servants to attend in 
the breakfast-room to listen to a portion of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, the stranger child had disappeared, and Betsy was 
scared at being unable to produce her charge. Her absence 
was observed by Mr. and Mrs. Snow, but not commented 
on till after the reading of the chapter was concluded. 

Mr. Snow always read in terror of the criticisms which he 
knew his wife to be making on his elocution and manner of 
delivery, and shrank from the keen flame of the blue eyes, 
tranquil as the body looked to which they belonged, and 
quiescent as were the plump arms crossed over the rounded 
figure. 

After the reading, the group remained silent and motion- 
less for a time, during which space they were supposed to be 
meditating on the holy subjects they had just heard. 

This might sometimes be the case with the parents Snow , 
but if the thoughts of the rest had been proclaimed they 
might on this occasion have been thus rendered — 

Rhoda Snow : The buns for breakfast were stale — I hope 
we have reached the bottom of the tin. 

Mabel Snow : Why did the little girl wear that ugly black 
frock ? 

Clara Snow : Reuben is a naughty boy ! He broke my 
doll's nose. 

Reuben : If I kick gently I may scrape off a large bit of 
paint from my chair, and not be found out. 

Cook : I don't think Betsy is so well to look at as Richard 
is always saying. 

Betsy : I wonder if cook saw that bit of bacon that went 
out. I should like to save it for Dick. 

The father, having made a rough mental calculation of how 
much time he should have to spare, gave the signal for dis- 
missal by rising. 

"What hast thou done with the little girl, Betsy?" he 
said, as sternly as he could compel his utterance to be. 

" Please, Friend Snow, she slipped away in a moment, I 
do not know where." 

" It was very careless of thee to lose the child," said the 
female Friend. " I think," turning to her husband, " if thou 
hast time to call in, thou mightest find her at her own 
home." 



8 Sabina. 

" Thou wilt do well to send Betsy. I shall not have time 
to return with her, and it is not fitting that the little child 
should dwell in the house of mourning." 

" I will do so, Friend, although I do not hold it to be con- 
venient as a rule that female servants should go forth from 
the house." 

" But thou wilt just this once ? " 

" Thou hast said it, father," said the wife, who gave way, 
or rather made a show of doing so, in trifles, that she might 
govern in essentials, and who frequently addressed him by 
the name by which he was designated by the household — 
" the father." 

When Friend Snow reached the lonely house, which was 
large, rambling, and dilapidated, and which, having been left 
to fall by degrees, had been rented by the widow for a trifle, 
he found the servant putting aside the remnants of her morn- 
ing meal, and inquired if the child had returned. 

She had not seen her, but owned that she had heard a 
noise in the death-chamber, but had not had courage to seek 
from what cause it had arisen. 

Friend Snow, who was not troubled by terrors of objects 
either natural or supernatural, proceeded to the chamber of 
death, and found the orphan stretched by the side of her 
dead mother, with her arms thrown over the unyielding 
breast. 

"Thou canst not stay here, poor child! What is thy 
name ? Sabina ? That is an unusual name, surely ! " 

" Sabina, thou wilt meet thy mother in heaven if thou art 
good." 

"I don't want her to be in heaven," replied the child. 
" She is no good to me there — I want her here." 

" Hush, Sabina, thou shalt go to my house for the present. 
Afterwards thou shalt see thy mother once more ; but thou 
art in the way now. I will bring thee hither myself to- 
morrow," and Betsy having arrived, he directed the maid 
to take the child to his house with as many of her clothes as 
she could carry. 

The child thus returned to the house of the Quaker was 
conducted safely thither by Betsy, men-servants, excepting 
coachmen and grooms, being considered unfitting attendants 
on Friends sixty years since. She was led by Betsy into the 



Sabina. 9 

school-room, where sat the mother surrounded by her 
daughters in their occupation of needlework. Rhoda was 
stitching shirt collars and wristbands for her father's shirts 
with extraordinary precision and neatness ; Mabel was draw- 
ing the threads from some Irish linen intended for glass 
cloths, for the purpose of hemming them in an exactly straight 
line ; the youngest girl was learning to knit, the mother, with 
exemplary patience, taking the begun garter from her hand 
every two minutes to recover the dropped stitches. 

"Thou hast come back," said Mrs. Snow, quietly to 
Sabina, and the tranquillity of her tone kept down the storm 
of sobs and cries which rebelled in Sabina's breast. 

"Thou wilt like to sit down and sew whilst my children 
are engaged at their occupations. I will give thee a tea- 
cloth to make. Hast thou a thimble ? " 

Sabina replied with a little gasp that she did not know. 

" We will find thee one. Mabel, thou canst lend Friend 
Sabina thine, as thou canst not use it whilst thou art busy 
with the threads." 

Mabel presented the thimble, gravely, which Sabina im- 
mediately placed on the wrong finger. 

" Dear, dear ! " said Friend Snow, " I fear thou dost not 
know how to work. How very sad ! " and she looked at the 
child with real pity. " But do not lament on that account. 
Sit down on this little chair by my side and I will teach 
thee." 

So the Friend turned down the hem of the glass cloth 
in a straight line, and fastened, or, in female parlance, tacked 
it, that it might not waver under Sabina's unskilled fingers. 
The child first unthreaded her needle, which Mabel re- 
threaded silently and instantaneously, and then Sabina 
awkwardly pricked her fingers, and a crimson drop stained 
the cloth, into which she had not as yet succeeded in placing 
a single stitch. 

None of the children spoke a word during the three hours 
devoted to needlework, and presently the mother took up a 
book, begun seemingly at some previous time, for the mark 
was in the middle of the volume. It was entitled " The 
Influences of the Spirit, as exemplified in the guidance of 
Members of the Society of Friends," and consisted of anec- 
dotes of the circumstances under which certain individuals 



i o Sabina. 

had been conducted from danger to safety by attention to the 
inward promptings of the spirit. 

" Two young Friends, a brother and sister, were travelling 
towards London on business, and, as was usual two hundred 
years since, the journey was performed on horseback. 

" The brother was desirous to push on as far as possible 
before night, and insisted on passing an inn where the female 
Friend wished to sleep, in spite of her remonstrance ; they 
had therefore little choice when night fell and found them 
near a wayside house of entertainment, which stood alone in 
the midst of a moor. The female Friend was reluctant to 
enter, from an inward warning ; but she disregarded the in- 
timation, and as the people of the house were civil and 
obliging, she forgot that it had been felt. 

" She went to bed, and had not slept more than an hour, 
when a voice seemed to say unto her, ' Arise, and fly, thou 
and thy brother, for the slayer of life is behind thee.' She 
had seen the room where he slept, and by the dim light of a 
partially obscured moon, she felt her way to his bed, and 
said in a whisper, ' It has been made known to me that thou 
must rise and fly from this house directly, if thou wouldest 
preserve thy life.' He obeyed, clothing himself as silently as 
she desired, and she led him down through the darkness to- 
wards the outer door, which opened towards the stables 
whither they had seen the men lead their horses. As 
they proceeded, they saw a light at the end of a passage, 
and they were afraid, and crouched down within a dark 
room with an open door, till they saw two men, the host 
and his son, who passed them so near that they could 
have touched them. The father bore a large knife, and the 
son a cord. ' I will manage the man — you shall silence the 
girl,' said he. ' Shall I strangle her with this ? ' replied the 
younger man. The Friends saw them ascend the steps lead- 
ing to the room they had just vacated, and hastened to the 
stables, from whence they took their tired horses, and urging 
them to speed, they fled over the moor, towards the friendly 
shelter they had previously passed, not venturing, with tired 
animals, to attempt an unknown distance in the dark- 
ness, and thus owing their safety to the monitions of the 
spirit." 



Sabina. 1 1 

Whilst Mrs. Snow read, Sabina's fingers were still, and her 
eyes were fixed on the lips of the speaker. The others 
worked on with placid industry, for outward signs of emotion 
were discouraged in the Snow family, whose feelings were 
supposed to be in subjection. 

"Thou art not working," said the mother to Sabina. 
"Thou hast put three stitches one upon the other, and thou 
hast left a large space with one very long stitch, and that is 
all. Hast thou not been taught to sew ? " 

Sabina wept and was silent. 

" Do not disturb thyself — thou wilt learn in time. The 
clock is striking, fold thy work neatly, and go out to play 
with thy companions." 

Very noiselessly they put together their working imple- 
ments, and Mabel, taking Sabina's hand, led her to the play- 
ground. As they passed a looking glass in one of the lower 
rooms, where the children brushed their hair when they re- 
turned from play, before they appeared before their parents, 
the glass reflected the images of both children. Mabel was 
twelve years old and dazzlingly fair ; her features were 
perfectly proportioned, and very beautiful ; they seemed to 
be meant to convey only the softer emotions and the fruits 
of the spirit — love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, good- 
ness, faith, meekness, temperance. Sabina saw her own re- 
flection close to this beautiful image — dark, flashing, bronzed 
by the sun, wild and attenuated — and drew back mortified 
and dejected. 

" It is the sun that has burnt thy skin," said Mabel, 
pityingly. 

Sabina shook her head. " No frost would make me look 
like you." 

And the children both hurried away. Bat in after life both 
remembered the contrast that day exhibited. 





CHAPTER III. 

" Children, like tender osiers, take the bow, 
And, as they first are fashioned, always grow, 
For what we learn in youth, to that alone 
In age we are by second nature prone." — Dryden. 

HE play-ground was a large field, round which was 
a broad gravelled walk, and at the upper end 
there were rows of small gardens, divided from 
each other for the little Snows then existing, and 
an unoccupied space for the requirements of any future Snows. 

There was also a well-built room, in which they had their 
teas and luncheons in summer weather. During play-hours, 
they were left to their own devices, without the supervision 
of their elders ■ seeing that Rhoda was but fourteen, and 
Clara five years old, they got on without more than the 
usual number of mischances. In a drawer in the cottage, 
as it was called, there was a roll of diachylon plaster and a 
pair of scissors, with some rag, so that Rhoda might attend 
to cuts and bruises without waiting to obtain assistance 
from the house ; and Sabina, whose life had been a series of 
make-shifts, was astonished at the wealth expended in contriv- 
ances for the amusement and welfare of her new companions. 

Rhoda went off to her garden to tie up the carnations ; 
Reuben said Clara should be his horse, and harnessed her 
with two skipping-ropes. 

Mabel looked wistfully at Sabina, whose eyes were filling 
with tears, and whom she knew not either how to comfort 
or amuse. They sat down on the step of the cottage, and 
looked at the others at play. 

"I have another brother, called Luke," said Mabel, at 



Sabina. 1 3 

length, as Reuben galloped past them ; " I love him best of 
all. Whom dost thou love best ? " 

Sabina turned her head away, and said, " I love no one ; 
I have no one to love now ; no one who cares whether I 
live or die ! " and she swallowed down her tears, with effort. 

" Why dost thou wear that black frock? " inquired Mabel, 
unable to repress her curiosity longer. 

The answer was given petulantly, for the strange child 
was irritated by having her griefs thus dwelt on. 

" Because my papa and mamma are dead ; and so would 
you, if you had lost your parents." 

" No, I should not. Friends do not wear what is called 
mourning. They ' rend their hearts and not their garments, 
and seem not unto men to fast : ' but, Sabina, this thing, 
what dost thou call it? is unsewn," taking up a bit of crape 
trimming. " That is untidy. Wilt thou not sew it on ? " 

" I have no needle nor thread, : ' said the child. 

Her companion took from her pocket-book a little needle- 
book, containing scissors, thimble, needles, and cottons of 
various tints of gray and drab colours, wound round flat 
pieces of card. 

" I fear," said she, " that I cannot supply thee with black 
cotton. Dost thou think this dark gray will suffice ? " She 
offered the needle-book to Sabina, and saw, by the awkward 
way in which she handled it, that she had no idea how to 
avail herself of the loan. " I forgot that thou canst not 
sew, friend," said the precise little Quakeress. " Let me do 
it for thee," and, selecting the darkest cotton, she sewed on 
the pendant piece of crape. 

" Did not thy mother teach thee to sew ? " 

" No ; mamma did all the sewing herself, and said my 
attention must be given to other things, and that sewing 
could be learnt at any time ; " and Sabina spoke as if she 
rather disdained the useful knowledge by which she had just 
profited. 

" And what things are those ? " 

" Music, singing, and elocution. My mother meant to 
have me educated for die stage. Do you know what is a 
stage ? " 

" Yes ; there are several in the green-house, on which 
the plants are placed," replied Mabel, with a puzzled air. 



14 Sab ma. 

" Oh, those are not the stages I mean. Are you fond of 
singing ? " 

" I never heard any. Canst thou sing ? " 

" Yes, and play on the piano." 

"What is that?" 

" Oh, a box which makes a noise when you touch it." 

" Sing now, that I may know what thou meanest." 

Sabina said she would sing a song which her father had 
taught her, and she sang, with infinite expression, Campbell's 
" Chieftain to the Highlands Bound." 

Mabel was entranced both by the voice and the story. 
She did not understand many of the words, but the tragedy 
was clearly made out, and she sat silent when it was over, 
in deep sympathy with the lady and her lover, and with 
anger against the father " left lamenting." 

She looked at Sabina with greater respect than before, 
and almost forgot her deficiencies in sewing. Still she had 
been taught to consider sewing neatly as the principal object 
in a girl's education, so she was resolved to give her new 
friend a lesson in that useful art ; but that should be a duty 
— the singing was an amusement for play-hours. 

" Where didst thou learn those words, Sabina ? I learn 
verses, but not like those." 

"I learnt them from hearing papa sing them; but they 
are in a book which mamma had, where I often read them. 
Papa was so fond of it, mamma let me keep it. It is 
amongst my clothes, somewhere." 

" Wilt thou show it to me ? " 

"Yes; but," Sabina added, ruefully, "I do not know 
where the clothes were placed, when they were brought 
here." 

"After dinner I will show thee the room where thou wilt 
sleep, and then thou shalt put thy clothes into the drawers, 
and show me thy book. Till then we will choose a plot of 
ground for a garden for thee, and the gardener shall dig it 
roughly, and we will break the clods and rake it. I will give 
thee some flower-roots, and Rhoda will do likewise ; and if 
I have money enough of my pocket-money, I will buy thee 
some flower-seeds." 

Sabina looked pleased ; she liked the idea of a garden 
very much ; so they set to work to mark its boundaries, and 



Sabina. 15 

were so busily employed that they were sorry when the 
sound of the dinner-bell interrupted their occupations. 

Their ablutions carefully performed, they sat in silence 
for a few minutes, and then a universal clatter of knives and 
forks proved that the meditations had all ceased at the same 
moment. This would have been strange, had any heavenly 
inspiration been sought or waited for, but it was a wordless 
form — nothing more. 

The children were helped in rotation, beginning with the 
youngest, for, as Mrs. Snow sagely observed, they had most 
difficulty in disposing of their food, and would only delay 
others if they were helped last. 

Sabina, whose dinners had frequently consisted in an 
apple and a piece of bread, had no particular relish for the 
soup and fish, roast and boiled joints, and supplementary 
tarts and puddings ; she was tired of sitting on the high 
straight-backed chairs, cruelly made to compel an upright 
position to weary spines. She was glad when the dinner 
was over, and when a few minutes given to meditation had 
marked its close, the children all rose to leave the table, 
excepting Mabel, who, with a flush on her face, sat still 
from her waist upwards, but was making secret and painful 
efforts with her foot to reach her slipper, which she had 
kicked off under the table, and dared not own it. It seemed 
that she was an old offender in this, and many other small 
faults, and had to pay forfeits constantly from her allowance 
of pocket-money, which generally found its way into the 
poor's-box before Seventh day came. 

After the payment of one halfpenny for this offence, the 
children went to the school-room for an hour and a half's 
sewing. Again and again Sabina got into disgrace with her 
work. 

She had dropped her thimble ; she knew not where : it 
had rolled out of her tea-cloth. This belonged to Mabel, 
who wished to tell her, but dared not, that it was of no 
consequence, as she did not want to sew. Mrs. Snow, 
however, produced another, and Sabina began her work. 
In a few moments she had unthreaded her needle, and tried 
vainly for several minutes to rethread it : she bit the end 
of the thread, and the moisture made it limp : she twisted it 
with her little fingers, which were tremulous from anxiety, 



1 6 Sabina. 

and applied it to the eye, which seemed to contract from a 
spirit of opposition, or, like a human eye, when approached 
by any opposing substance. At length with a nutter of 
hope, she detects that some small fibres of thread had been 
forced through the eye by her efforts, and seizing them, she 
draws it through. Alas ! only half of the thread follows : 
the rest is pressed against the side of the eye, into innumer- 
able little circles, and Sabina, hot and despairing, has to pull 
it out again. The next time the needle, which seemed 
possessed by a kind of vicious vitality, suddenly jumped 
out of her fingers. She did not like to move from her place 
to search for it on the carpet, for Friend Snow had returned 
to her book on the Influences of the Spirit, and was relating 
how a Friend had been directed in sleep to rise from his bed 
one night, and to walk along the banks of a canal, and how, 
soon after he had reached ity — but here Sabina's impatient 
interest in the story attracted Mrs. Snow's attention, and she 
discovered the idleness of the stranger child. 

" Why dost thou not sew ? " 

" If you please, Friend Snow, I've lost my needle." 

" Thou shouldest call me Madam, or Mistress Snow, for 
that is the habit of thy people. When thou art as one of 
us, thou mayest call me Friend Snow. Here is another 
needle, and I will thread it for thee this time." 

" Oh, here is my own ! " cried Sabina, gladly, seeing it 
glitter on the carpet. " Now I shall not require yours, 
Ma'am." 

" But I roust give it to thee, because I said I would, and 
if I did not, I should tell an untruth," said the scrupulous 
lady. 

At length the hours of sewing, marked by weary sighs 
from the breast of Sabina, came to a close, and the children 
were dismissed to play till tea-time. Mabel, whose mind 
was full of " Lord Ullin's Daughter," asked Sabina to come to 
the sleeping apartment, which she did, and there drew from 
the meagre contents of her little trunk a well-worn copy of 
" Campbell's Pleasures of Hope," and a few of the minor 
poems which graced the earlier editions. Mabel's eyes 
glistened with delight at the engravings, for she had never 
seen any such. True, " Keeper in Search of His Master" 
had had an ill-executed frontispiece, but it had been neatly 



Sabina. 1 7 

excised by Mrs. Snow's scissors so soon as it had been 
perceived. 

Mabel cared little for the grave figure leaning his chin on 
his hand, — " Andes, Giant of the Northern Star." 

But what a charming child, looking round a rustic gate at 
a tattered venerable old man. What wonderful hollyhocks, 
just like those in the garden ! 

What a sweet mother, leaning over the cradle that con- 
tains her infant boy, who sleeps with his fingers on his lip ! 

"Read it to me!" cried Mabel, impatiently. "Let us 
go somewhere out of the way of the others ; under the trees. 
Read what refers to the pictures." 

" I do not think there is much about the pictures ; nothing 
to care about; but I will read you about " Glenara," and 
about " The Poor Wounded Hussar." 

" What is an hussar? A soldier? Ah, I ought not to 
listen to that, for all soldiers are wicked." 

" Surely not." 

" I don't know. My mother says it is wicked to fight ; 
and as soldiers fight, I suppose they are wicked." 

" Just as you please," said Sabina, rather affronted, as her 
father had been a fighting-man, and all her sympathies went 
with warlike deeds. However, they sat under the trees, 
and Sabina sang and read, and read and sang again, till 
Mabel was entranced by the melody of her voice and the 
charm of the poetry. When they were summoned to the 
cottage to partake of hot milk, served in a great tin can, and 
currant buns, Rhoda looked with wonder at Mabel's face, 
softened to an expression of unusual tenderness. 

" Where hast thou been ? " asked the careful sister. 

" With Sabina." 

" What hast thou been doing ? " 

'•' Nothing." 

And Rhoda was silenced, but not satisfied. 

Rhoda addressed her mother. " Is Friend Sabina likely 
to remain with thee long, my mother ? " 

" Why dost thou ask? Does it concern thee to mete out 
thy father's hospitality ? " 

"No; only, mother, Mabel is always with her; and 
Sabina is not a Friend, thou knowest." 

That night Mrs. Snow asked her husband if any answer 



1 8 Sabina. 

had arrived to a letter he had addressed to a distant relative 
of Sabina, to whom he had written, describing her destitute 
stats. 

Yes ; only that morning the expected ansvyer had arrived. 
" There it is," he said, producing it. " The writer is a harsh 
man, I fear," said the good-natured Friend. 

" Haven House, Deepindale, 
" September 18 — . 

"Sir, 

" I have received your letter, describing the destitute 
state of the child Sabina Rock, my great-niece. 

" I never asked my nephew to beget the child, and I con- 
sider it hard that I should have this burthen thrown on me. 
However, as she bears my name, 'needs must, when the 
Devil drives,' so I send money enough to pay for her coach 
fare, and I will meet her, if you will let your servant put her 
into the stage which reaches Deepindale at six o'clock on 
Thursday evening. 

" Your obedient servant, 

" Michael Rock." 

"Poor child !" said Mrs. Snow, "my heart aches for her 
future life ; but it will be best for her to go at once. It may 
be ordered that her uncle may be more gentle when he sees 
her ; not that she is well-favoured ; so dark, beside Rhoda 
and Mabel." 

" ' Dark, but comely,' " said the father. 

"Thou mightest quote better parts of Scripture than 
Solomon's Song, Friend Snow." 



CHAPTER IV 



" The balls of his broad eyes rolled In his head, 
And glared between yellow and red : 
He looked a lion with a gloomy stare, 
And o'er his eyebrows hung his matted hair; 
Big boned, and large of limb, with sinews strong, 
Broad shouldered, and his arms were sound and strong. 



Dryden. 




FEW days after Sabina was separated from her 
kind protectors, and sent, with the housemaid as 
escort, to Deepindale by the coach. 

She could scarcely repress her sobs as she felt 
Mabel's kisses on her cheeks and her arms round her neck, 
and gave expression to her feelings in uncouth gulps. 

She looked up into the faces of her host and hostess, and 
tried to say something about being obliged for their hospi- 
tality, which the housemaid had secretly suggested, but the 
words died inarticulately. Poor child ! she was like a climb- 
ing plant, which had just curled its tendrils round the 
shrubs in chance juxtaposition, and now they were sent 
away, and she was packed up and sent to some distant, and 
probably inhospitable, soil. 

" We shall hear of thee from Betsy, Sabina. Be dutiful to 
thy great-uncle, and then thou wilt be happy, and probably 
well doing." 

Mabel retired to the garden seat, to think over the poetry 
she had learnt from Sabina's book, and to regret that the 
poems and the songstress had departed. 

She provided herself with a bow, which she induced the 
gardener to procure from an osier bed, and fashioned some 



20 Sab ina. 

wood into arrows, and sat sentimentally in a tree in the 
thickest part of the shrubbery, fancying herself O'Connor's 
child ; or she walked with downcast eyes examining an im- 
aginary battle-field in search of a wounded hussar, her lover. 
She had an element of romance about her, which her as- 
sociation with Sabina had elicited. The struggle between 
this natural disposition and the bondage of her sect, was to 
be the bane of her happiness. Anything so discordant as 
these imaginings that filled her brain, with the reality of the 
primly dressed and stiffly modelled little Quakeress, was 
never before seen in a Friend's family." 

" Why dost thou walk about with thy head down ? Thou 
wilt give thyself a poke of thy neck." 

"Why dost thou sit in that tree with a bow in thy hand? 
Whom dost thou mean to shoot ? Surely thou wouldest not 
destroy life," said the sage Rhoda; but Mabel answered 
nothing, and concealed for the future the outward expression 
of the occupation of her thoughts, and longed in secret for 
the forbidden delights of music, poetry, and painting. 

When the coach stopped at the door of the hotel, a 
hoarse voice was heard, saying to the coachman, " Three 
minutes late ! " and a hand appeared holding up a 
chronometer in proof of the assertion. Seemingly the coach- 
man was disinclined to dispute it, for he only touched his 
hat, and said that the little girl and the young woman were 
inside. 

Lieutenant Rock showed himself at the window, lifting 
his hat, almost reverentially to the beautiful Quakeress 
servant on whom his eyes first fell. She, all unconscious of 
the looks of admiration which glanced from under those 
dark bushy eyebrows, said, " My master has sent thee thy 
young relative, if thy name be Rock. They charge thee to 
be tender to the child, who is fatherless and mother- 
less." 

The lieutenant's ire was aroused ; he was not going to be 
taught his duty by a lubberly landsman, — a hulking Quaker, 
who would not fight for his country ; but as he was about to 
answer in wrath, he was arrested by the delicate hectic 
which asserted itself on the cheek of the girl, and he chan°-ed 
his vituperation intended for the master and mistress into a 
civil invitation to come to his house and take some refresh- 



Sabina. 2 1 

ment till the coach returned. The maid declined, saying 
her master had given her money to defray her expenses at 
the hotel ; and taking the child's hand, she bade her " Fare- 
well," and placed the reluctant little palm in the bronzed 
ringers of the lieutenant, who did not look as if he particu- 
larly admired his great-niece. 

It must be owned that she did not look to advantage by 
the side of the beautiful housemaid, who was dazzling fair, 
and, though fragile looking, was rounded in figure. The 
child was lean and sallow, with enormous eyes which seemed 
to occupy the chief part of her face. These were wild, 
restless and dark, and looked larger from their black lashes, 
and the purple tint which coloured their large orbits. 

Lieutenant Rock looked on her "with distaste. She bore 
his name and shared his blood, and he saw in her face some 
likeness to his own ; but he had but his half-pay, ninety 
pounds a year, and that died with him. 

She would be a fearful incumbrance during the remainder 
of his life ; and at his death — what could become of her ? 
He could not bear to think that a Rock should be reduced 
to apply for parish relief. " Well, if I can live till she grows 
up she must go out as a governess, or a housemaid, and earn 
her bread." 

He declined the offer of the porter to take charge of the 
child's portmanteau, and, flinging it across his shoulders, he 
desired Sabina to follow him. 

He stopped at a small, new, neat house, which stood 
alone, opposite the river, with the intervention of a grove 
which consisted of a number of attenuated trees, which 
having been too thickly planted and never thinned, had run 
up, in the desire to obtain more air and sun, by overtopping 
each other. 

The grove was a square with broad gravelled walks round 
it, which the inhabitants of Deepindale called the Parade, 
and where young ladies walked, and sighed that the war had 
taken all the young men, excepting the clergyman and the 
apothecary ; and the school children disported themselves 
on half holidays. 

The lieutenant had painted and yellow-washed his house 
himself. It was a kind of ship to him. Ah ! how often he 
had longed for a ship of his own to command ; but this 



2 2 Sabina. 

blessing had been kept for those better born, and with more 
influence and less merit than himself. 

Some things he had made his own in his naval career — 
truth, honour, integrity ; but he was severe on the infringe- 
ment of rules he had ever practised, and his virtues seemed 
to those less virtuous, harsh and repulsive. 

Never could such a child as Sabina have fallen to the 
charge of a protector less suited to the habits of her previous 
life. 

It was a melancholy day for her when she arrived at the 
small house;' shadowed by the spindle-like trees. Some 
pea-soup and a very tiny bit of salt pork made the frugal 
dinner. Sabina ate so little that her uncle began to hope 
that her appetite might prove a small one. 

He offered her an apple from the dessert, which was duly 
placed every day on the table in a broken dish, with plates 
and dessert knives, and insisted on peeling it for her and 
cutting it up in small pieces, when she had preferred the 
primitive mode in which she ate hers. This destroyed 
Sabina's enjoyment of it. She would have liked to read a 
book and bite her apple simultaneously. 

Her dress was cut low with short sleeves, after the custom 
of dressing children sixty years since, for it was thought, not 
unreasonably, that any deviation from correctness in growth 
could thus be better detected and sooner remedied. How- 
ever, there were disadvantages in these habiliments — the 
under garments appeared, pushing up their edges above 
their proper boundaries. The shoulder-straps would peep 
out, to say nothing of the top of a pair of stiff stays — a pair 
of Mabel's — which would show themselves unpleasantly, 
pressed up by Sabina's position as she sat opposite her 
uncle, the lower part of them resting on her chair. 

Mr. Rock seemed unable to take his eyes off these in- 
trusive articles. 

In vain poor Sabina tried to dislodge them. Her efforts 
to press them down were fruitless. 

After dinner he rang for the old servant, and, pointing to 
the child's frock, said, 

" Take a reef up there before to-morrow morning- " 

" Sir ! " 6 ' 

" Take a reef up — a running stay round the top." 



Sabina. 23 

The next morning he called the child towards him, and 
untying her frock-string, he drew it so tightly together, that 
her shoulders were drawn up to her ears, and looking at her 
with an air of satisfaction, declared that " it was all ' taut,' 
and as it should be," while Sabina swelled her chest, and 
expanded her thin shoulder, to try to escape from the un- 
usual pressure. 

She dared not, in her uncle's presence, cut the string ; but 
should it break, all the better for her. 

She tried repeatedly, and at length the material that held 
the tape tore, and the lifesome form asserted itself once 
more with wild grace, for she had discarded Mabel's stays, 
which were articles of dress she had never worn till her brief 
visit to the Quaker's family. 

The lieutenant was not thus to be beaten. He called 
old Susan to bring needles and thread, and sent Sabina to 
bed, whilst the top of the frock was plaited in tight folds to 
produce the effect he had admired when the tape had been 
used. 

With more knowledge or more pity, Susan, though she 
seemed to obey orders,- made the plaits smaller and fewer, 
that Sabina might feel less cramped ; but that spirited young 
lady, so soon as the frock was put on, stole into her uncle's 
room, and borrowing his razor without leave, freed herself 
from the slightest suspicion of restraint. As Sabina had dis- 
carded the stays, they were no longer a cause of offence ; and 
if her great-uncle perceived that she had beaten him, he bore 
it with a lofty look of not finding it out. 

In an old bureau which had travelled round the world in 
his cabin, the worthy man kept his accounts. 

Each day his expenses were rigidly calculated, and ba- 
lanced at its close. No indulgence was permitted to himself 
by this self-denying old man ; but he had a glass of grog for 
a friend in the evening. After breakfast he walked for an 
hour up and down the parade trying to fancy it the quarter- 
deck of a ship. Then he obtained for a penny the loan of a 
daily paper for three hours. This brought luncheon ; some 
bread and cheese and a glass of water. Dinner was served 
at six o'clock, followed by a cup of coffee for himself and 
Sabina, and at night he partook of a basin of thin gruel with 
salt, whilst his friend, Lieutenant Orellan, regaled himself 



24 Sabina. 

with hot whisky and water. " The unknown quantity " of 
expense introduced in the person of Sabina was a terrible 
perplexity to her uncle. He looked at his list of expenditure 
to see, where the difficulty of rendering justice to all was so 
great, what he could curtail or do without. 

How often ! — how hopelessly he went over the items. " I 
have but ninety pounds a-year. Had I but fifty it would be 
equally my duty to live within my income. This child's 
food, clothing, and washing, will deduct at least twenty 
pounds from the fifty. How is this to be met ? " He 
thought of the paper — the penny a-day for the news so 
dearly prized — for the only link which united the old man 
to the living, moving, busy world, in which he had once 
been an actor. This must be given up ; but it would only 
be one pound six shillings towards the twenty pounds. 

He had been accustomed to buy three new coats in two 
years. He was proud of being well-dressed — of looking 
what he was by birth and feeling, a gentleman. One of the 
coats must be given up, and every other article of his ward- 
robe in like proportion. The glass of grog to his friend in 
the evening; this was the most painful perplexity of all. 
How could he give up that dearly prized rite of hospitality ? 
He knew that the comfort of those glasses of grog were in- 
estimable to his friend, who had, on his ninety pounds a- 
year, to support a paralytic wife, whom he nursed as tenderly 
as does a mother her sickly, fractious child. 

He thought, with some feeling of relief, that he had just 
purchased four gallons of whisky at prime cost, and discount 
off for ready money, and that this store would last his friend 
for some time. When it was exhausted it would be time 
enough to meet the difficulty of replacing it. 

Sunday came in the midst of these cogitations ; Sunday, 
which was marked by a very small piece of roast beef which 
did duty till the following Thursday. 

He never missed going twice to church on these days, but 
twice he considered sufficient ; and when the innovation of 
an evening service Avas introduced, he sat at home on Sun- 
day afternoons, and joined the evening service. 

Now he was to have a companion in these acts of duty, 
and Sabina, with her face scrubbed, her hair combed and 
tire strings of her bonnet ironed out, and her frock brushed 



Sabina. 25 

and sponged, was led by her uncle to church. To pay a 
guinea a year for a sitting he could not afford ; to leave her 
at home on Sunday morning might endanger her eternal 
happiness ; to send her to sit among the servants, with Susan, 
was a degradation he could not put up with ; to take her 
into the strangers' pew, which, as few ever visited the remote 
town of Deepindale, was appropriated to the half-pay officers 
who congregated there for cheapness — to take a petticoat 
into that bachelor pew, though that petticoat covered the 
person of a child only ten years of age, seemed an atrocity 
only to be equalled by the intrusion of the lady on Saint 
Senanus. 

It was the least of the evils, however, which suggested 
itself to his imagination. He generally was the first to enter 
the pew, and take his place at the upper end, which was 
bounded by a pillar. The church was obscure even at mid- 
day, the pew dark oak, the child dressed in black. She will 
not be much observed, he thought, if she will but be quiet, 
and not stand up on the hassock and stare about her. 

He was shocked to discover that the girl did not know 
where to find the places in her prayer-book. 

" She has been brought up as a little heathen," said the 
lieutenant to himself. " I must try to make her a Chris- 
tian." 

His notion of succeeding in this task was to dose her with 
prayers and sermons, which might make up for the de- 
ficiency of her early career. 

Very tired was Sabina with this morning service, the first 
she had ever attended. Her uncle had put his large hand 
on her shoulder, and forced her into a kneeling position on 
the boards, which were covered only by a bit of worn-out 
matting. Sabina grew faint and sick during the length of 
the Litany, 'and when at length her uncle's strong arm pulled 
her up, her thin knees were scored all over with the im- 
pression of woven flags. 

When Sabina began to look about her — not an easy per- 
formance, seeing that she was a small child for her age, 
without stepping on the tempting hassock — her eyes fell on 
a cluster of fair curls standing before her, surmounted by a 
delicate gauze bonnet. The girl to whom the curls and the 
bonnet belonged was standing with her back towards Sa- 



26 Sabina. 

bina, and seemed to be about thirteen or fourteen years of 
age. At the first responses, which were chanted, Sabina 
heard a feeble little voice chanting very correctly with the 
choristers, and surmised by the movement of her head in 
connection with the sound emitted, that the voice and the 
fair curls belonged to the same person. Sabina envied the 
lovely hair — her own was black, — she envied the fair skin — 
the back of the neck, so like marble in whiteness and 
smoothness ; she envied the pretty gauze bonnet, with blue 
pipings and a pink rose-bud ; but she heard the feeble, pains- 
taking voice, and felt comforted. The Psalms were long, 
and the young lady had chanted them perseveringly and 
meritoriously, but she was losing power with every fresh 
verse. By-and-bye a resting-time came, but then the hymn. 
For this Sabina had reserved herself. When the voice 
burst forth in the invocation 

" Lord of heaven and earth and ocean, hear us from thy blest abode ! '' 

Sabina, who knew every note of the music, and every word 
of the hymn, sang with such wonderful power, sweetness, 
and correctness, that involuntarily everyone turned to see 
whence the magnificent stream of melody flowed — a long 
resounding voice, oft breaking clear in solemn pauses from 
the swelling bass. Of the power everyone could judge. 
Poor Mr. Rock ! A boy once went to school with an 
alarum in his pocket in which he had invested all his pocket- 
money — the savings of weeks. He could not keep his 
hands off his darling, and in fingering his new purchase as 
it reposed in his trowsers' pocket, he set it off in the middle 
of his class lesson. Whiz went the alarum. The unhappy 
boy grasped his pocket in the hopes of stopping the ac- 
cursed thing. It was useless. Like a railing woman, it was 
determined to have its say out, and the ire of the master, 
the laughter of the boys, and the shame of its unfortunate 
possessor, disturbed not the even tenor of its way. 

Thus with Sabina's singing. Mr. Rock, but for very 
shame, would have stopped her mouth with his hand • but 
neither his manifest vexation at the revelation made of her- 
self by this human alarum, nor the astonishment and curi- 
osity evinced by the stealthily turned heads towards the 
strangers' pew, in any way discomposed Sabina; she sang 



Sabina. 2 7 

during all the remainder of the service, to the tearful morti- 
fication of the possessor of the fair curls and gauze bonnet, 
whose voice, already nearly exhausted before Sabina began, 
had now become entirely inaudible. 

When at length the sermon had begun, Sabina had 
managed to relieve the tedium of the service by taking part 
in it, and had got through the twenty-five minutes' preaching 
by trying to trace distorted faces in the knotted wood of the 
old oak pew, and in speculating whether angels in heaven 
had gilded wings, yellow hair, and blue petticoats, like those 
two which stood over the altar with brazen trumpets in their 
hands, and a golden ball each under one leg, which served 
as a kind of footstool, and by its position disclosed the knee, 
above which the blue petticoat was looped and fastened by 
a brooch. 

" I can beat her in some ways," said Sabina to herself, as 
her uncle, doubtful whether to be most proud or most 
ashamed of his new relation, led her up the aisle to return 
home, for as she passed the pew she saw Fair-curls still on 
her knees — and, as far as her governess knew, devoutly 
praying — turn her head, and gaze on her with eyes wet with 
angry tears. She had been surpassed in the accomplishment 
on which she and her governess particularly prided them- 
selves — her voice and its culture. 

" In thoughts so bold can little minds engage, 
And in soft bosoms dwell such mighty rage ? " 

The child with fair curls would gladly have consigned the 
girl with black curls to bread and water with solitary con- 
finement for a week. 

When the congregation left the church, many inquiring 
glances were directed toward the little girl, who had to run 
every dozen steps to keep up with the stride of her uncle. 

" What a wonderful voice ! " said Mr. Temple, the 
German organist, to his wife. 

" Humph ! loud enough ! " was the uncomplimentary 
reply of the lady. 

" My dear, 'tis out of voices such as these that the best 
performers are produced. You may direct power and 
cultivate it, but 'tis hopeless to try to do anything with a 
penny whistle of a voice." The lady and her daughters 



28 Sabina. 

were a collection of penny whistles, and she hated Sabina 
for the admiration expressed by her husband for the stranger 
child. 

After the small joint of beef, baked on potatoes in an 
earthenware brown dish with yellow stripes, had been 
partaken of by the lieutenant and his niece and Susan, 
he thought he would dissipate the inclination for sleep, 
which would come on his unoccupied Sunday afternoons, 
by taking Sabina for a walk in the country. 

Sunday was a day of suppressed yawns with Lieutenant 
Rock. He dared not give himself the pleasure of yawning 
a loud hearty oscitation. He would have thought it showed 
a lack of reverence for the day. 

He opened no letter that arrived on Sunday. He would 
not unlock his desk, lest worldly thoughts should slip out of 
its recesses, and indispose him to serious reflections. 

Yet having thus rendered his mind a blank, with what 
could he inscribe it, worthy the sacredness of the day ? 

The poor lieutenant suffered an hebdomadal martyrdom 
in his efforts to spend this awful division of time as it ought 
to be spent. 

It would never do to let Sabina see his head nodding on 
his breast in his arm-chair, so he desired Susan to dress her 
in her bonnet and cloak, and took her out for a walk. 

Both the uncle and niece were in good temper when they 
started, for the autumn sun was shining cheerfully, and 
making the yellow foliage warmer with its glow. 

The child rejoiced in movement, and fluttered along like 
a young bird who forgets for a moment that a string attached 
to its leg will in a moment drag it back to its owner. 

The uncle could not help watching for coveys of partridges 
in the stubble ; he had been a keen sportsman in his youth, 
before the heavy sum exacted by government for a license 
had placed shooting beyond his reach. 

No persuasion could ever induce him to fire at a bird 
without that magical permission in his pocket. 

" Take the keeper's gun," said a friend, whom Mr. Rock 
accompanied one day on the first of September. '-' There 
are lots of birds, and I know you are a first-rate shot." 

The lieutenant looked longingly at the excellent double- 
barrel which the keeper offered. 



Sabina. 29 

" I have no license," he replied, sadly. 

" My good fellow ! No one here will dare to inquire. 
We shall not go off my own estate." 

" I should not consider it quite honourable, you know. 
Defrauding the king, is it not ? " he replied, gently, for he 
felt that in thus stating his opinion he was conveying a re- 
proof to his host. 

" Just as you like, old fellow ! " said his friend, laughing. 
" The revenue would be better supplied if all had your 
scruples." 

Whilst the old man was peering into a field over a gap in 
the hedge, Sabina had found herself a plentiful source of 
enjoyment in some blackberry-laden brambles, and by the 
time Mr. Rock, with the quick eye of a sailor, had taken 
cognizance of the little brown specks in the distant stubbles, 
and counted their number, Sabina had besmeared her 
mouth, and torn her frock in five different places — five dis- 
tinct tears, making two sides of a triangle, and showing a 
white petticoat underneath, caught her uncle's eyes as he 
turned from the contemplation of the partridges. 

He saw also Sabina's hands full of the ripe fruit, which 
she was cramming into her purpled mouth, and his ire was 
aroused. He rushed towards her with his stick uplifted, 
with no very distinct idea of striking her, but foaming with 
anger at her greediness, and careless disregard of the 
destruction of her clothes, so difficult to replace. 

Sabina meditated flight, but as she trod on a stubborn 
branch near its base, the upper portion of it bent toward 
her, and the sturdy thorns with which it was armed caught 
the top of her bonnet, which was of white chip, tied with 
black ribbon so carefully under her chin by Susan, that the 
brambles had no effect on the sarcenet strings, but the fragile 
chip gave way at the crown, which came off like a saucer, 
showing a head covered with black hair underneath. The top 
was not entirely detached, but swung and danced in the air 
by a long attenuated piece of the braided chip. 

This momentary detention gave Mr. Rock, an advantage, 
and he came so near to his niece as to catch her flying- 
petticoats. She was now too determined on flight to heed 
remonstrance, and dashed away, leaving her frock unripped 
from the gathers in his hand. 



30 Sabina. 

Just then the wretched uncle heard the sound of wheels, 
and was aware that a carriage was approaching. There was 
no time for flight, no place for concealment, and he was 
revealed in all the light of that sunny Sunday afternoon, with 
an inflamed countenance and furious eyes, with an uplifted 
stick, threatening to chastise a child, whose disordered dress 
bore witness seemingly to his violence. 

He let go his hold of Sabina's dress, and tried to stand 
quietly and bow politely as the carriage passed. 

He saw the look of quiet astonishment in the face of the 
lady, of amusement on the part of her son, the Honourable 
Wilfred Tresillian, — he saw the smirking grins of the foot- 
men and coachmen, and he burst into a cold perspiration of 
rage and shame. The young gentleman was a candidate for 
the representation of the borough of Deepindale, and had 
called on the lieutenant two days before to ask for his 
vote. 

Mr. Rock had then had the best of the situation. He 
had been composed — dignified. Had requested time to 
consider before giving his answer; he had told the can- 
didate that there was a difficulty — that he liked his principles 
generally, but what were his opinions on flogging in the 
navy ? and did he intend to vote for its abolition ? because 
in that case he must decline to register his vote for the 
Honourable Mr. Tresillian. The gentleman fenced with 
the question. He meant to vote for the abolition of 
flogging, but he did not want to lose Mr. Rock's vote. 
Thus it had stood, and Mr. Rock felt now, that in the 
absurd position in which he had been seen, he had lost his 
vantage ground. The young man would never see him 
again without feeling moved to laughter and contempt. The 
carriage rolled on out of sight, and Sabina had long been 
beyond her uncle's ken or hearing. At first he thought not 
of her. He was too full of his own mortification to reflect 
where that provoking imp might have strayed. Then he 
walked up and down calling for her in vain — he could 
neither see nor hear her. He went back crestfallen, and 
depressed— walking slowly, and found the house dark and 
silent. Susan had been to the afternoon church, and had 
not returned. No doubt she had stopped to tell some of 
her acquaintances of the new arrival in her master's house. 



Sabina. 3 1 

He grew impatient and somewhat alarmed at the thought 
of the child's absence. He wished Susan would return, 
though he felt ashamed to tell her on what terms he and his 
niece had parted, and that he was uneasy at her non-ap- 
pearance. He remembered that she was ignorant of the 
country, and could not know her way to his house, even 
if she wished to reach it. With all this, came a feeling of 
aggravation against her for the shame of the past, and the 
anxiety of the present time. 

Lieutenant Rock was feeble, and had been recommended 
by his doctor not to exert himself, above all not to agitate 
himself, yet his heart was thumping now as he stood at the 
open door veiy unpleasantly, as he waited in the hope of 
seeing that little wild black figure, so soon as she came 
within sight. The house itself was still and dark, but dim 
lights were gleaming at the lamp-posts, few and far between, 
along the narrow street which led to Haven House. A soft 
drizzling rain began to fall. 

" She will get wet too, confound her ! " muttered the 
lieutenant. 

In the meantime the sound of pattens and a large 
umbrella, its wet surface shining under a distant lamp, gave 
token of Susan's approach. 

Mr. Rock observed her with some degree of comfort, but 
could not make up his mind immediately to announce his 
disquietude. 

Susan bustled in ; she wanted to take off her bed-chintz 
gown, and see if the pattens had splashed the skirt. But 
first she lighted an end of candle for that purpose, and made 
up the fire and set the tea, before it struck her that she had 
neither heard nor seen anything of the child. 

" Where's Miss, Sir ? " she said, going to the door. The 
uncle was obliged to confess that she had run away from 
him. 

" Away ! — by herself ! — out in the dark ! — all in the rain ! 
Master, she'll die before morning if we can't find her." 

" Die ! nonsense ! A little slut ! What should she die 
for ? " said the old man, in a hoarse voice, now thoroughly 
alarmed. 

" Oh, Sir ! you're a gentleman that knows nothing about 
children. Poor lamb ; no father nor mother to take care of 



32 Sabina. 

her ! Where did you leave her, Sir ? Where can we go to 
look for her ? It's so dark and wet. What if she should 
fall into the mill pond ? " 

" Why can't she stand upon her pins ? Why should she 
fall anywhere?" cried the old man, taking down his hat and 
seizing his stick to go out. 

" Oh, master, let me go, you will catch your death of cold 
going out in the wet," exclaimed Susan. " You sit down 
and drink a comfortable dish of tea, and I will go out and 
look for her. I'll get my nevvy to go with me for company ■ 
we'll soon find her," she continued cheerily, seeing that her 
master was really alarmed. 

She got ready the tea, and then went up stairs to take off 
the cherished dress, and put on a common one. 

" Damn the dress ! " exclaimed Mr. Rock, suspecting 
why she left the room, and resenting the delay. " Can't you 
go at once ? " 

Susan made no reply, but returned in a few moments, 
bonneted and wrapped in a warm cloak. She took up her 
lantern, but the candle had burnt out, and she had to find a 
fresh end to fit and light it, before she left the house, whilst 
Mr. Rock seemed ready to explode with vexation at the 
delay. 

" You stay here," he exclaimed. " Give me the lantern 
and I will go. You shan't go out into the wet to look for 
her, a little limb." 

" No, master ; nevvy and I will go." 

" We'll both go then," said Mr. Rock, " we'll go different 
ways." 

" No, Sir, that won't do ; if she should come back here 
and find no one at home, she would be scarf at the dark 
and go away again." 

The old man still hesitated, but a flutter at his heart made 
him sit down for an instant, and Susan took advantage of 
the delay to seize the lantern and hurry off. 

" Don't mention it to any but your nephew, Susan," cried 
Mr. Rock, bitterly ashamed of the whole story. 

" Curse her ! What a little wretch she is," exclaimed he, 
apostrophising his absent niece. Drat the child; where 
can she be now ; lying on the wet earth somewhere, the rain 
beating down upon her? Perhaps she has crawled to some 



Serb ina. 33 

haystack for shelter. Perhaps she may have been met by 
some ruffian, and, oh Lord ! " Unable to bear his own 
thoughts he rushed to the door, to peer into the darkness, to 
see if her little figure might be perceived coming along under 
the lamp-posts, stealing slowly towards her home. 

"She don't know where else to go, poor little devil, or 
she would not come back to me," he thought, full of re- 
morseful pity. 

"Afraid of me? — Afraid that I shall beat her? Poor 
girl ; where is she now ? — cold and hungry, shivering under 
some hedge — will be dead probably by to-morrow morning, 
drenched by the rain, terrified by the darkness and loneli- 
ness." 

" If she comes back I'll be kind to her. If she comes 
back — Hark ! there are Susan's pattens ; I'd swear to them 
in a hundred." 

He advanced a few steps from the door into the rain, but 
his senses had deceived him, it was not Susan, but a woman 
with a lantern and umbrella, and a little girl by her side. 

"It must be her" said the lieutenant, regardless of gram- 
mar, but the two walked on, talking cheerfully in a tone of 
perfect accord, which grated on the uncle's mind. 

Had he been as kind as that woman, he thought, this 
terrible anxiety might have been spared. 

He walked up and down his sitting-room recklessly, stop- 
ping to listen every moment, and hearing only the droppings 
of the rain-water from the shoot into the puncheon, distinct 
and loud, at the back of the house. He involuntarily began 
to count the drops for an occupation, but the rising wind 
dashed the rain so furiously against the windows in his 
sitting-room, that he heard single drops no more, in the 
sheets of water with which the panes of glass seemed deluged. 

" What a night for poor Susan, and that child ! " he 
exclaimed. 

He looked at his watch ; it was near eleven. In his 
misery he had forgotten the lapse of time. He heard a pair 
of pattens now — only one pair; — but Sabina had none. 
He hastened to the door with his candle, but the wind 
extinguished it immediately. 

" Is it you ? " he cried, diving his old bald head into the 
darkness. 



34 Sabina. 

"Yes, Sir; 'tis Susan." 

" And the child ? " he cried, in a voice of hope. 

"No, Sir; we can't see or hear anything of her." 

Susan came in dripping, and shook the drops from her 
umbrella. Mr. Rock sat down and said never a word. 

" I went to the lane where you said she was picking the 
blackberries, Sir; and Billy and I looked about for foot- 
steps. She must have gone through the gate, or climbed 
over it, for she lost her little shoe. Here it is ! " producing 
it, " but we could not see any more of her. You see 'tis a 
clover field, and there could not be any marks. Very likely 
somebody has found her, and taken her in. They would 
not bring her back such a night as this, if they could get 
shelter anywhere else, or she may have seen a light in a 
cottage window, and gone to it. They would take care of 
her, for she looks to be a gentleman's child, and to-morrow 
morning they will bring her back." These were the comfort- 
ing suggestions of Susan, to which Mr. Rock answered only 
by a groan. Susan insisted on making him and herself a 
basin of gruel, and ordered him to bed. 

" 'Tis no use. I can't rest, when she's out in the rain," 
he exclaimed, his voice going off in a sob. 

"Ah ! 'twill rest your poor bones, any way," and the lieu- 
tenant obeyed for quietness' sake. 

When Mr. Rock reached his bed-room, he took off his 
coat and hung it carefully on the back of the only chair, and 
kneeling down he wished to change his usual form of prayer 
for some supplicatory expressions more suited to his pressing 
anxiety. 

The nightly petitions he usually addressed to the Throne 
of Grace he had devoutly selected from the Evening Church 
Service. 

To pray in any language but that of Scripture, or in forms 
of prayer sanctioned by the authority of the bishops and 
clergy, would have seemed to his simple mind to address 
himself to Heaven in a language which could not be under- 
stood, and would have been a useless waste of words, to 
say nothing of the chance of bringing a judgment down on his 
own head for his temerity. 

So he began. " Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, 
oh Lord ! ('tis dark as pitch ! ) " aside, with a glance at the 



Sabina. 35 

windows, "and let not the runagate continue in scarceness" 
— this was uttered with a broken voice, thinking of the 
supperless child. " Put away the superfluity of her 
naughtiness (a cut at her), and make every man swift to 
hear, slow to speak — slow to wrath " (a reproof to himself). 
'• Pardon my offences, gracious Lord, and restore this child 
to me ; for greater love has no man than this, that he would 
lay down his life for his friend ; and that I would do gladly 
to have her back again," was a little natural addendum, for 
which he could find no authority in Scripture. 

He leaned his head against the side of his bed — that 
inartificial and comfortless support consisted of his hammock 
slung up — and resting on his sea-chest, he wondered if he had 
said enough. 

His faltering voice and humid eyes might have pleaded 
for him without an uttered word. 




CHAPTER V. 




" Keen and cold is the blast loudly whistling around, 
And cold are the lips that once smiled upon me, 
And unyielding, alas ! as the hard frozen ground, 
The arms once so ready my shelter to be." 

Fatherless Fanny. 

HEN Sabina saw the angry countenance and up- 
lifted stick of her uncle, her impulse was flight. 
She was very miserable in his house. He was to 
her an ugly great ogre. 
During her mother's life she had enjoyed unlimited in- 
dulgence, for that lady's feeble health would have prevented 
her correcting Sabina, had she had the desire ; but every act 
of that self-willed imp had seemed to her doating mother 
" discreetest, best." 

" Whither should she go ? She cared not. She was not 
very hungry — she had eaten plenty of blackberries before 
her sin had been found out. She would eat as many as she 
pleased, now she was out of the reach of her uncle. Under 
cover of his dismay at the sound of the carriage, she had 
run down the side of a dry ditch, or rather of one which 
seemed to her to be so. When the carriage had driven out 
of sight, she thought her uncle would look up and down 
the field for her, but she sagely conceived that, if she lay 
motionless, she could convey no movement to the bushes 
that might betray her, and she believed that the darkness of 
her dress might, combined with the rank dock leaves, 
entirely conceal her from any search, to the aid of which no 
dog was called. 

So she lay quite still, and heard her old uncle calling her 
in every tone : first of anger, then of anxiety, and lastly of 



Sabina. 3 7 

terror. Now Sabina only became more careful not to move, 
scarcely daring to breathe, whilst the angry calls pealed in 
her uncle's deep voice across the meadow. When the tone 
became plaintive from anxiety, Sabina was half-inclined to 
crawl out and give herself up, but she argued in her own 
mind that her uncle's anger would return all the more, from 
the anxiety he had suffered, so soon as he saw that she was 
safe ; and as her frock was covered with dirt, she gave no 
sign. 

When his voice was heard no longer, she peered out of 
the ditch into which she had crawled, to the great detriment 
of her clothes, and the loss of one of her shoes. It was 
getting too dark to look for it in the dank ditch. It would 
have necessitated her crawling back to look for it through 
the thick weeds and brambles, which she could not push 
aside — they were too strong and stubborn. 

Whither should she go ? 

She had often thought of running away during the few 
hours she had passed at Haven House, and now there 
seemed nothing to prevent her. 

But there were some little treasures in that old portman- 
teau at Haven House. Three old chains made of that 
delicate fabric usually procured in Lisbon, a guinea with a 
hole in it, through which a ribbon had been passed, and 
worn by her mother, and one or two books belonging to her 
father. The idea of her uncle's polluting these by his touch, 
as she would have considered it, made her doubt whether 
she should not return to possess herself of them, but she re- 
membered the old man's angry face, and hesitated. 

She saw in what state her clothes had become : it hurt her 
to walk without a shoe. The brambles scratched her foot, 
the stubbles pricked her legs. She sat down on the edge of 
the ditch, and tried to think. A drizzling rain set in and 
increased the gloom of the coming night, and Sabina, losing 
heart and courage, sobbed aloud. 

Now it happened that at the houses where Lady Sarah 
Trelusa and the Honourable Wilfred Tresillian had been 
paying their visits, that astute young man had picked up 
certain scraps of electioneering intelligence from which he 
discovered that his own prospects in the borough were not 
quite so bright as he had been led to believe. 



38 Sabina. 

Not to have to reply to the questions of his lady mother, 
whose soft, murmuring voice disturbed his meditations, he 
told her he would indulge in a cigar, and took his seat by 
the side of the coachman. 

His thoughts turned to Mr. Rock — amongst so many 
doubtful promises his vote would be very important ; but 
then, he might lose more by " going in " for flogging. To 
him it was a matter of indifference whether every man in his 
Majesty's navy was flogged daily, from the First Lord of the 
Admiralty, with whom he was on intimate terms, down to the 
youngest cabin-boy in the smallest vessel, so long as he was 
returned member for Deepindale. He must do what would 
be most likely to lead to that result. 

The old man must give way. As his thoughts took this 
direction, the carriage rolled swiftly along the road, for it was 
now raining thickly and the men did not like to be wet, till 
they passed the spot where the old man had been seen 
flourishing his stick over his flying niece.. He stopped the 
carriage. "Shall I open the door, Sir?" said the footman, 
thinking his young master wished to escape from the rain. 

" No, I shall walk home across the fields," was the reply. 
He laughed and kissed his hand to his mother, as she threw 
down the glass, and prophesied colds and coughs and in- 
flammations. 

It was really but a short distance, and to the rich, who 
have abundance of warm clothes at command, getting wet 
does not mean what it conveys to the poor man whose only 
suit of clothes is soaked, and who cannot afford a fire to dry 
them. 

Mr. Tresillian's desire for a walk on that wet evening 
arose from a doubt in his mind, whether a little black heap 
which seemed to bear some form of humanity, crouched on 
the wet grass, was in reality a living child, and if so, whether 
it might be the little girl he had seen in the clutches of Mr. 
Rock; if so, he might be brought into contact with that 
gentleman in a manner advantageous to himself as regarded 
the desired vote, by returning the runaway. 

Now, when Sabina saw a man advancing through the dusk 
with quick steps, she was seized with terror, and rose to her 
feet to fly, but she slipped about in the wet clay, and found 
that running away from an old uncle, with a diseased heart, 



Sabina. 39 

was very different in its results to being pursued by a young 
man of twenty-five in the plenitude of health and strength. 

She heard him coming, and struggled onward, but finding 
that he was gaining on her, she dived ignominiously into 
a ditch in the hope of concealment, from whence, with a 
grasp of his powerful arm, he lifted her by the band 
round her waist, from which she hung like a lamb in the 
sign of the golden fleece, with head and arms and legs 
dependent. 

The girl was silent as a trapped wolf, though her heart was 
beating with fearful violence. Her captor felt it, as he 
passed his left arm round her waist, thinking the band would 
give way. 

" What are you about here ? " 

No answer. 

" Are you Mr. Rock's little girl ? " 

No answer. 

" I will take you home to him." 

She did not speak, but struggled to get away. 

" You cannot go till I give you leave — but come, walk on 
with me to Mr. Rock's house. I suppose you belong to 
him." 

" I belong to nobody, I believe," cried Sabina, with a fresh 
burst of tears. 

" But he takes charge of you ? " 

" Oh dear ! " sobbing. " I wish he didn't." 

"Why?" 

" Because I hate him." 

" Why do you hate him ? " 

"Because he is so cross, and threatened to beat me, and 
would have hit me with his great stick, only I ran away." 

" Fine, consistent old man ! Carries his principles into 
practice," said Mr. Tresillian, laughing; and then, looking 
down at the slender child, he could not help pitying her, 
when he remembered the size and apparent weight of the 
walking-stick. 

" You don't walk very well," said the gentleman, finding 
it unpleasant to be crawling through a muddy field at a snail's 
pace, in the dusk, in a pouring rain. 

" Tis because — because," said Sabina, sobbing, " I've lost 
my shoe." 



40 Sabinct. 

" What a nuisance," cried the young man. " Well ! never 
mind — we cannot stay here all night ; I must carry you," and 
without further parley he snatched up Sabina like an infant. 
" Now, put your arms round my neck to steady yourself." 
She did so, with the shame of knowing that one shoe covered 
with mud, and one stocking soaked with dirty water, was 
pressed against his clean trowsers. 

The first intention of the young man had been to take 
Sabina at once to Mr. Rock's house, but though she was not 
heavy the land was, and clung pertinaciously to the thin soles 
of Mr. Tresillian's delicate boots, and he found the process 
of walking under such circumstances rather more fatiguing 
than he had anticipated. His house was distant but a short 
quarter of a mile, so he determined to carry her thither, and 
to send her home to Mr. Rock's, in his dog-cart, so soon as 
he reached it. 

He passed through a small gate leading into the park, and 
on reaching a summer-house, was glad to rest for a few 
minutes under the shelter of its roof. 

He seated Sabina on the rustic table, and stood thought- 
fully by her side a few minutes in silence. The girl could 
only see the outline of his features, made out dark against the 
gray sky, but they looked pleasant and sweet tempered. 

She nestled closely to her companion, and said, " Where 
are we going ? " and leaning her head against his arm, which 
she held with both hands, she looked up in his face for an 
answer. 

" I am going to take you to my home first, and then send 
you in my dog-cart back to Mr. Rock." 

Sabina hung her head, and let go her hold. 

He did not notice the movement, but took her up again, 
being rested, to continue his walk. They proceeded in 
silence till they came near the back entrance of a fine old 
mansion, and Mr. Tresillian stopped for an instant, em- 
barrassed by Sabina's weight as he attempted to open one of 
the gates which led to it. 

The rain was beating against them, and speaking was not 
easy, but Sabina, closing her arm more tightly round her 
companion's neck, whispered in his ear, " Please don't send 
me home — let me stay with you." 

This frank proposition would have provoked Mr. Tresillian's 



Sabina. 41 

mirth at any other time, but at present he was too much per" 
plexed to be amused. 

The night was so dark, and the child's clothes were so wet, 
that he thought, if Mr. Rock had any affection for his little 
charge, he would not feel particularly nattered by the way in 
which she was returned to him. 

Moreover Mr. Tresillian did not like sending his horses 
out at night in the wet, and having the risk of their not being 
properly dried before they were bedded up for the night ; a 
circumstance likely to occur, if the servants' hall supper bell 
was heard as the groom returned ; yet, to produce this child 
to Lady Sarah in her present condition was out of the 
question ; not if the success of the election depended upon 
it, would she consent to such a pollution of her drawing- 
room. At length he determined on a scheme which pre- 
sented fewest difficulties. 

Mr. Tresillian was a gallant man amongst the fair sex in 
every degree, and was on particularly good terms with one of 
the head nurses of his brother's children then staying at 
Tregear, and taking Sabina still in his arms he entered the 
back of the house, and made his way through the lighted 
passages to his own dressing-room. 

He set her down in the room, dimly lighted by the fire 
only, and desired her to remain quiet till his return. In a 
few minutes he had explained the matter to his female friend 
and told her how important it was that he should propitiate 
the uncle by care of his niece, and begged her to arrange 
the child so as to make her presentable to Lady Sarah 
Trelusa after dinner, and to prepare a bed for her. 

Then, rather weary with well doing, he prepared himself 
for the important meal of the day by a warm bath, in which 
he threw off the stains of mud and clay, which had attached 
themselves to his person from his contact with Sabina. 

" Dear ! dear ! " said the nurse, as the light of her candle 
fell on Sabina. " Why, wherever have you been, Miss ? Did 
you fall into the pond, and did Mr. Tresillian fish you out ? 
Ah ! I thought so ! Now you must get into a bath, and then 
I must look for some clothes for you. Let me see " — look-^ 
ing at her — " Miss Edith's frock would be about your length, 
and shoes and socks ; — ah ! your feet are very small ; Miss 
Adela's size will do best." 



42 Sabina. 

" I fear," said Sabina, " you have no black frock. I don't 
like not to wear black." 

" Who is it for, my dear? " 

" Mamma and papa." 

" Well, that is right. Only you see, Miss, if they could be 
asked they would not like you to take cold, and I think they 
would rather you wore white, or blue, or crimson, than that 
you should be ill." 

Sabina was not sorry to be convinced, and before dinner 
had concluded, she had been properly washed, combed, and 
better dressed than she had ever been before in her life. 

" How stiff your hair curls," said the nurse, passing the 
dark rings of hair round her fingers. 

""Pis the rain," replied the child. "Mamma always 
dipped my hair in water when she wanted it to curl." 

" I wish our children's hair would curl with as little 
trouble," rejoined the servant. "I should not be kept for 
two hours every evening papering up their heads. There, 
now, you're dressed, Miss, a quarter spangles, as the gover- 
ness says. Look at yourself in the swing glass." 

Sabina felt half ashamed, and did not like to look — besides, 
a richly-worked flounce which terminated the skirt of her 
dress occupied all her attention. 

She had seen herself often, but such embroidery never. 
Thus, when she was summoned to the drawing-room she had 
no clear idea of her appearance. 

The footman, opening the door, announced " Miss Rock," 
and sent her forward into a delicious atmosphere of warmth 
and perfume, and into a blaze of light. 

Dazzled and perplexed, she looked forward and saw an- 
other room, as she imagined, in which were seated a strange 
lady and her new friend. A little girl, in a white frock and 
blue sash and black shoes, advanced towards her as if to 
greet Sabina, who, not to be outdone in civility, went 
up close, and knocked her forehead against a large looking- 
glass, in which she was reflected, as she tried to kiss the 
stranger. 

Lady Sarah, in great astonishment, turned for an explana- 
tion to her son, who, laughing said, " What are you about, 
Miss Rock ? do you want to kiss yourself in the glass ? " 

The laughter came from behind the child, though she 



Sabina. 43 

thought Mr. Tresillian was before her, and she turned, flush- 
ing all over at the blunder she had committed. 

She had never before seen a glass which nearly covered 
the end of a room. She looked very handsome with the 
flush, and her eyes, usually so wild and elfish, were softened 
into an appealing look at her protector. He arose, and 
taking her hand, led her to his mother, whom he had pre- 
pared for the visit of the strange child. 

"Did the nurse give you anything to eat, my dear?" said 
the lady, kindly ; for, replete with the good things of her 
own table, she felt a generous glow of hospitality towards all 
persons in general, and towards the little girl in particular, 
as a possible channel of good towards her favourite soft. 

" Yes ; thank you, Ma'am. I have had tea and toast and 
— and some chicken," replied the child, her hesitation hav- 
ing arisen from a doubt as to what the white substance was 
of which she had partaken. 

"Perhaps it was turkey," said the lady, meditatively. 
" We had turkey yesterday. Did you like it, Miss Rock ? " 

"Yes; thank you, Ma'am." 

Lady Sarah had made as great an effort as her son could 
expect, and with a happy consciousness of having performed 
her duty, she subsided against the back of the sofa with a 
sweet smile, and dozed with as much of sleep as to be con- 
scious of enjoying it. 

" What is your name ? " 

"Sabina." 

" Do you like looking at prints — picture books ? " 

"Yes, very much. When they are pretty." 

"Then we will turn over these, or rather, I will, for they 
are too heavy for you." 

" I think you have taken too much trouble about me 
already, Sir. I hope I did not tire you very much?" 

She felt she could talk more easily now Lady Sarah was 
asleep. 

The engravings were valuable proofs, and without any 
lettering to indicate the subjects. Mr. Tresillian gave a 
little sigh of anticipated weariness when he glanced at the 
numerous subjects. 'Tis so difficult, as Dr. Johnson says he 
thought, to taik like little fishes, when required to write a 
fable about them. 



44 Sabina. 

"To talk to this child will be as uncomfortableas walking 
with a man two feet shorter than yourself, who insists on tak- 
ing your arm." 

So he began. " A man asleep with an ass's head ; the 
fairies took away the man's head, and gave him the ass's." 

"Not the fairies, Puck," interrupted Sabina. '"Me- 
thought I was enamoured of an ass,' " she continued, 
roguishly looking up at Mr. Tresillian. 

"Meaning me, I suppose," said her friend, laughing. 
" Well ! you make a sweet little Titania," he continued, put- 
ting his arm around her waist caressingly. 

This disturbed the child, who said, " Showme another, please." 

As the engravings were illustrations of Shakespeare, 
Sabina named the subjects of each, as her companion 
turned the leaves, and he found, that whilst he only re- 
cognised those from the plays which stage representation 
had made familiar to him, she knew them all, and explained 
subjects which puzzled him. 

" How do you know so much about these plays ? " 

" Mamma had few books, and so we read them over and 
over again." 

The books were finished, and the girl slid off her chair, 
and wandered on tiptoe over the luxurious carpet of the 
drawing-room. 

" Oh, what a fine great piano ! " touching one of the 
keys with the tip of her finger. 

" Lady Sarah is awake," said her son. " You may touch 
it if you like. Now, should you not like to play me a tune ? 
I can play the cat's minuet." 

As part of this music consists in turning the nail of the 
first fmger on the keys, and drawing it rapidly from one 
octave to the other, Sabina, forgetting all sense of propriety, 
put her fingers to her ears with an expression of pain. 

Mr. Tresillian pretended to be offended. 

" Very well ! if you do not like it do better yourself." 

" Can you play on the piano ? " said the silvery voice of 
the now thoroughly awakened lady. 

" A little, Ma'am. I can play my own accompaniments 
when they are not very difficult, when I sing." 

" Can you sing now ? " said her hostess, with some feeble 
movement of curiosity. 



Sabina. 45 

Sabina wriggled herself up on the music stool, and after 
thinking a few minutes, said, " It is Sunday, so I will sing 
something sacred." 

She began the plaintive movement of Handel's — "' ' How 
beautiful are the feet of those who bring good tidings.' " 

That wonderful voice once heard could never be forgotten, 
even by the most indifferent, and Lady Sarah was exceed- 
ingly fond of music. 

" You are the little girl who sang in church to-day ? " she 
said. 

' ; Yes, Ma'am." 

" Sing again if you are not too tired." 

She went on, and gave with the utmost correctness of the 
half tones, " ' Behold ! and see if there be any sorrow like 
unto His sorrow.' " 

" Do you prefer sacred music ? " 

" No ; only because it is Sunday, you know. I like Italian 
and English on week days." 

She slid down from the music stool, and listened to the 
striking of the pendule on the chimney-piece. 

" Do you wish to go to bed ? " said Mr. Tresillian. 

" Oh, no ! I am so very happy," said the child, putting 
her hands to the back of her head. " I have not been so 
happy since " 

" But you must be tired," said Mr. Tresillian, who saw 
tears in her eyes ; " it is getting late ; you had better let me 
ring for the nurse. Are you not anxious about your uncle ? " 
said he curiously. 

" No ! " replied the girl ; " why should I be ? " and her 
brow grew sullen. 

" Oh ! because he must be unhappy at having lost you." 

" No, he would be glad. I am in his way. He hates me 
—I hate him." 

" Hush ! hush ! " cried Mr. Tresillian ; " Lady Sarah will 
hear you." 

" Why not ? " she replied, undauntedly. 

" There, I have rung the bell for your ' nurse,' " he was 
going to say, but changed the word to " maid." He was 
half afraid of this clever, vixenish child, who might not like 
to be considered one. 

Sabina, seeing that her fate was inevitable, walked up to 



46 Sabina. 

Lady Sarah's knee, and said, " I am obliged to you, Ma'am, 
and I wish you good-night." 

She had grown much harder since she could not speak to 
Mr. and Mrs. Snow without sobbing. She then turned to 
Mr. Tresillian, and put her small brown hand out. 

He drew her towards him, and kissed her, a salute which 
she returned eagerly, fearing she had displeased him. 

" You are so very good to me, and I love you so much," 
she cried, frankly. Then she followed the nurse to the 
small bed-room she was to occupy next to the nursery. 

" I don't know, Miss," said this woman, " whatever is to be 
clone about your black frock, which is all to ribbons — tore 
right off your back, I may say ; and black ! — no one would 
ever know it was black, 'tis so smothered in mud. It seems 
to me, that Mr. Tresillian had better send over to your 
uncle's house to-morrow, and get another of your frocks, my 
dear." 

" Oh, no ! pray don't ! " said Sabina, with a look of dis- 
may. This had been her best frock ; the other was so 
shabby. With a sensitive nature which suffered so much from 
the effects of her own folly, it was a wonder that she did not 
correct herself of carelessness which entailed such grievous 
suffering. 

" Can't you do anything ? " she cried, despairingly. 
" Wash it ?— mend it ? " 

" Well, really, Miss, I fear 'tis impossible ; but go to bed, 
and sleep, my clear ; time enough to think of trouble to- 
morrow ; sufficient for the day is the evil thereof, as I 
always feel on Sundays, when the clergyman gives us a long 
sermon." 

_ It seems strange that ladies of rank should care for the 
tittle-tattle of their servants. To sit and listen to small cir- 
cumstances regarding their equals picked up by one 
domestic from another, might, one would imagine, possess 
not unnatural interest ; but when the information relates to 
some transactions in the kitchen of some farmer, or the cot- 
tage of some labourer, it is difficult to understand the vacuity 
of mind to which such pabulum can be welcome. 

Mrs. March, the nurse who had taken charge of Sabina, 
talked over the advent of the child with Mrs. Stevens, Lady 
Sarah's maid. How the poor child's frock was all rag's, and 



Sabina. 47 

her linen patched and darned all over ; how she seemed 
afraid of her life to send for another frock ; and she believed 
the old man Rock was a regular old Turk. The coachman 
and AVilliam the footman saw him hoiding a great stick over 
the child's head. She quite pitied the little thing, for her 
own part, and would not mind running up a dress, if my 
lady would give one of her old ones for the purpose. 

This intelligence was conveyed to the good-natured, 
placid lady, when her hair was undergoing its nocturnal 
brushing and embalming, and melted her to pity. 

" Take that black silk, and get some one from the village 
to make it." 

" Yes, my lady. Your ladyship may see that the seams 
and the hem at the bottom being done, it won't take much 
time ; we may get it ready by luncheon time." 

" How pleased she will be ! " was the thought of the be- 
nevolent lady ; " and how wonderful is her voice ! " 




CHAPTER VI. 




" The timely dew of sleep, 
Now falling with soft slumbrous weight, inclines 
The eyelids." — Milton. 

T was some time before Sabina could settle herself 
to sleep. Her brain whirled with excitement. 
She had had so much suffering and so much 
pleasure in a short time — in a succession of a 
few hours. 

When she shut her eyes the retina retained her uncle's 
furious face. She opened them and saw the strange prints 
on the wall by the light of the watch-light, and the unusual 
aspect of the room. Then her head became dizzy, and she 
clasped something very closely, which turned out to be Mr. 
Tresillian's neck ; but she let it go, and fell with a sudden 
start that awakened her. 

Then she fancied herself Titania, with a jewelled crown 
and a gauze veil, and a beautiful wand in her hand, with 
a star at the end of it, and in that happy delusion she at 
length slept soundly, and forgot everything. 

It was late when she was awakened by children's voices 
in the adjoining room, and heard, by the vigorous splashings 
going on, that they were in their baths. 

" I wonder how I am to get up, and what clothes I can 
wear ! And oh ! my frock ! " she cried, sitting on the side 
of the bed, with an aspect so woe-begone that even her 
uncle might have pitied her. 

Presently her kind friend, the nurse, came in. " I will 
get your bath directly, Miss Rock, and you will put on one 



Sabina. 49 

of my young lady's frocks this morning till you go. My 
lady says you are to stay and have your dinner at her 
luncheon time." 

This was good news for Sabina, but as she was going with 
Mrs. March into the day nursery to join the children at 
their breakfast, the other and rival bonne declared that her 
missus would not like her children to associate with, she 
didn't know who ; children picked up in the hedges and 
ditches, who might have all kind of infectious complaints 
about them — -scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough and 
small pox. Mrs. March might take the child to the servants' 
hall if she liked. 

Mrs. March, in dudgeon, took Sabina back to her bed- 
room, and seeking Mr. Tresillian's valet, confided to him 
the difficulty, and begged him to ask his master for orders. 

Mr. Tresillian sat up in his bed and wrote a short note to 
his mother, suggesting that it would be a pity now to lose 
the fruit of all their good deeds as regarded this child, by 
affronting her at the eleventh hour. Lady Sarah assented, 
and desired Mrs. March to bring Miss Rock to breakfast 
with her in her dressing-room. 

Mrs. March rejoiced greatly at this tacit snub to Mrs. 
Cross. The child not considered good enough to associate 
with her charges, was honoured by taking breakfast with her 
ladyship. 

She dressed Sabina neatly, smoothing her beautiful black 
hair, and led her to the dressing-room, which Lady Sarah 
had not yet entered. Sabina looked with admiration at the 
snowy table-cloth, and the old filigree silver service equipage 
from which the steam was pouring itself in short irregular 
puffs. She thought herself in fairy land, and when Lady 
Sarah, enveloped in a soft Cashmere dressing-gown, with her 
abundant hair falling over her shoulders, entered the room, 
Sabina thought she saw in her the good fairy from whom all 
the luxuries around her had proceeded. 

The lady desired her maid to pour out the tea and to 
attend to Miss Rock. She herself, after a cordial nod of 
good-morning to the girl, amused herself with the last 
number of the "Lady's Magazine," which was illustrated 
charmingly by a rising artist named Stodart, and which was 
light to hold in the hand. 



50 Sabina. 

She felt a feeble curiosity about the tales contained in it, 
though the impressions made by them on her mind were so 
slight, that her son declared she had read one portion of 
one of the stories twice over, fancying she was reading the 
continuation. Sabina soon finished her toast and grated 
ham, and was anxious to look at some handsomely bound 
books which came within her reach on the book shelf. 

" May I touch them, Madam ? " she said, eagerly. 

" Yes, certainly. March, take Miss Rock away and wash 
her hands. Then she may come back." 

Lady Sarah was still loitering over her breakfast when 
Sabina returned, with fingers pink from the friction of the 
towel, and sat down on the floor to enjoy what was to her 
a great treat : whilst she read, and looked at the engravings 
by turns, Lady Sarah had been deep in some love-scene in 
the magazine. 

Part of the description had touched some chord of me- 
mory, and she looked off her pamphlet thoughtfully and 
sadly. 

Her ladyship had been a great beauty in her youth, and 
having married young, had retained a large portion of it, 
even when grandchildren proclaimed ruthlessly that age had 
come. There was so much dignity and sweetness in that 
pensive face, that Sabina left off looking at pictures : and 
the lady, catching a glimpse of the child's rapt countenance, 
asked her at what she was looking, and of what thinking. 

Sabina's face grew crimson. " I was thinking," she said, 
"that you were like a beautiful picture I saw in the Louvre 
of Dido, listening to the adventures of yEneas." 

Lady Sarah's face flushed slightly with pleasure. " My 
dear ! " she cried, " you are quite right, I was considered 
very like that picture a few years since." What an intelli- 
gent child ! was the lady's reflection. Edith would never 
have thought of the resemblance, nor have said it had she 
done so. " When were you in Paris ? " 

" We lived there some time, before mamma was ill. She 

came over, hoping to find some friends — but " with a 

broken voice, "she did not, and then she died." 

She prattled on, and Lady Sarah became interested. She 
was full of pity for the destitution of Sabina's poor wardrobe. 
She sent a carriage to the best milliner in Deepindale for 



Sabina. 5 1 

some chip bonnets, and had a new one trimmed by her 
maid, under her own directions. She had a slight feeling of 
malice directed towards all her grandchildren, especially 
the eldest, Edith. That girl was always calling her " grand- 
mamma " in the loudest of tones, and the shrillest of voices. 

That child, whose inane impertinences were repeated for 
wit bv her absurd parents, was dressed in the finest of linen 
and fed on the choicest of food ; and here was this neglected 
child, who promised to be so handsome, and was so gifted 
by voice and ear, destitute of everything. 

She would patronise little Rock, and have her over some 
dav when her daughter-in-law came down, and show her a 
really beautiful and accomplished girl by the side of that 
goggle-eyed grandchild of hers, of whom her parents were so 
proud. 

Sabina, unconscious of the thoughts of her patroness, 
looked at the illustrated books, or at the herds of deer re- 
posing under the massive elms and oaks in the park. 

Presently Lady Sarah observed a curious smile pass over 
the child's face as she withdrew from the window. " At 
what are you looking ? " said her ladyship. 

Sabina blushed slightly. " At a young lady ? " 

" Yes." 

" A young lady with two other young ladies, and an elder 
one, walking in the park." 

"Those are my son's children." 

" Yes, Madam. I saw them at church." 

t; But why did you smile ; of what were you thinking?" 
rejoined the inquisitive lady. 

" I was thinking," said Sabina, with a flush of falsehood 
in her face, " what a pretty gauze bonnet she had on ! " She 
was remembering her triumph in singing. 

This reply set Lady Sarah thinking whether it was really 
a pretty gauze bonnet, and whether pipings of pink satin 
would not have looked prettier than of blue. Then she 
remembered the want of contrast which would have resulted 
from juxtaposition with the pink rosebud in front ; and fancy 
wandered to a blue convolvulus with pink pipings for her- 
self; so that Sabina felt she had made "a bold diversion," 
and got out of the attack cleverly. 

But whilst Lady Sarah meditated patronage, she was like 
4—2 



5 2 Sabina. 

the country maiden, about to overthrow, by an act of her 
own, all the castles she was amusing herself by building. 
She went to her cabinet and took out a needle-book, in 
which she placed something she thought would be useful to 
Sabina. " It contains needles and cotton and other things, 
useful to little girls who go out blackberry gathering," she 
said. 

The hour arrived when Sabina had to take leave of her 
kind friend. She had placed the needle-book in her pocket 
shyly, when Lady Sarah had first given it to her ; and in the 
whirl of her emotion at her unusual entourage, she scarcely 
thought of it again. 

The child went up reluctantly to Lady Sarah, to say good- 
bye, after she had partaken of luncheon, brought up into her 
ladyship's room expressly for her. " I can't bear to go 
away," said she, " because you look so beautiful and you 
are so nice to me." 

Nothing could have pleased her simple ladyship more. 
" You shall come and see me again some day," said she, 
" and mind you keep the needle-book carefully for my sake." 
The girl will not know the value of what I have put into it, 
thought she, if I do not impress on her mind that she must 
be careful. 

It was an elegant little Russian leather case, with a coro- 
net and her ladyship's cypher in gold on the outside. She 
drew the girl towards her and just touched her forehead 
with her lips ; and then the nurse, taking Sabina to her room, 
took off the clothes belonging to the children of the 
house, and dressed her in those which Lady Sarah had 
ordered to be provided, which though superior in texture, 
were of the same colour as those which she had previously 
worn. 

Sabina looked about as she was led through the upper 
corridors, down the grand staircase,, across the marble hall, 
and out at the great entrance, to see if she could perceive 
Mr. Tresillian. She longed to see him once more, if only 
to say "good-bye," but that gentleman, conscious that his 
mother's kindness might be safely trusted, had forgotten all 
about the child, in his anxiety about the approaching elec- 
tion, and had left home early on business connected with it. 

When Mr. Rock had been sent to bed, at the suggestion 



Sabina. 



53 



of old Susan, he had given way, from a dislike to oppose 
her, but with no idea of being able to sleep. " How could 
he sleep ? " he said, when the rain came rattling against the 
window-pane, and the wind made strange noises like cries 
and moans of a person in extremity. He lay on his right 
side, and then tossed over on his back. The left side was 
a forbidden position. The heart could not, act so freely 
when lying in that position. I am afraid he cursed his 
nephew for having married, also his nephew's wife, who 
had been particeps criminis. " / could never afford to 
marry the girl of my heart," thought the old man. And 
his memory went back forty years to a small window 
in a small house, situated just out of Marseilles, which 
was covered with jessamine, roses, and passion flowers, 
at which used to be seated a graceful girl called Valerie, 
whose brunette skin used to flush as she saw him approach. 

At z.fetechampetre given to the officers of "The Seagull," 
Valerie had been followed there to persecution by one of 
the junior officers. Timid, and unwilling to draw attention 
to her dilemma, she only walked faster in the hope of 
avoiding him, when a sudden turn of the path showed 
Lieutenant Rock, with his spy-glass in his hand, lopking 
through the trees towards his beloved vessel. A sudden in- 
spiration seized Valerie : she went up to him and passed her 
arm through his, saying, " I am engaged to dance with this 
gentleman." 

"Is that the case, Mr. Rock?" said the young man, 
angrily. 

" Have you not heard the lady say so ? I am astonished, 
Sir, at your want of courtesy in asking the question after her 
statement." 

The persecutor bowed and withdrew. The girl looked 
up, the man looked down, and so they fell in love. As the 
thought, " I never could afford to marry the girl of my 
heart," flashed across his brain, he seemed to see again the 
thickly-clustering trees and their cool shadows, the slight 
girl, with her timid pleading face raised to his, her white 
dress, looking so pure and bright, half in sun-light, half in 
shadow, and the straw hat tied under that round young- 
looking chin with blue ribbon — his favourite colour. Mr. 
Rock half smiled at the thought how dark and curling his 



54 Sabina. 

hair had then been — himself, how strong, eager and active. 
That day he had attended Valerie with chivalrous devotion, 
but he had a widowed mother at home, with little to depend 
on but what he saved from his pay, or sacrificed at once 
from his prize-money, and he knew that he could not main- 
tain both a wife and a mother. 

A vessel — a French privateer — had been fastened to the 
French coast by a cable which was inserted in a ring sunk 
in a steep rock. Mr. Rock and the second lieutenant, his 
senior, were sent with a boat's crew to cut the cable, and 
thereby to enable the " Seagull " to carry off the prize. As 
they landed on the shelving shore the senior in command 
stumbled and fell, and Rock, springing past him, rushed up 
the cliff, and hacked at the stout cord with his drawn sword 
till it was divided, being subject during the whole time to a 
smart fire from a neighbouring battery which guarded the 
locality. He was seen from his ship in the execution of his 
arduous undertaking, and many hearts ached when they saw 
the gallant young man fall forward, struck with a bullet in 
the leg. His men hoisted him on their shoulders and 
carried him back to the ship. The Patriotic Fund decreed 
him a sword, as a reward for his gallantry, with a suitable in- 
scription ; but as the considerate donors knew how poorly 
filled was Jack's purse, as a rule, they gave him the option of 
his sword or ^90. Young Rock had the aspirations which 
are so lively in youth. He wished for honours and fame, 
and he coveted the visible sign of his own gallantry ; but he 
thought of his mother, high mettled and uncomplaining, 
struggling on in her poverty with his two young sisters, and 
he gave up the sword, and sent her the ^90. 

Hard knocks he had had in plenty, but promotion was for 
those who had friends at the Admiralty, or friends of their 
friends. And now a sheer hulk, laid up as useless, the only 
compensation he had reason to hope for, was that he might 
spend the remainder of his days in peace ; of that peace, the 
imprudent marriage of a nephew he had never cared about, 
and the orphanage of his little girl, had deprived him. 

He tried to sleep. He tried not to care for the driving 
rain, and the thought that it was drenching her little shiver- 
ing body. "Oh, God! be merciful to her!" he prayed 
earnestly. And his old eyelids filled with weak tears at the 



Sabina. 55 

image his fancy suggested of Sabina's cowering under some 
hedge, and shivering in the blast, " and I," he said, " so 
warmly laid ! " 

There was a sound along the still street of horse's tread. 
His heart began to beat fearfully. The child's body had 
been found, no doubt, and he was wanted to identify it. 
He sat up in the bed, having pulled off his night-cap to hear 
better. The sounds stopped at his door — there was an im- 
patient ring at the bell, and a pause. He got out of bed, 
shaking in every limb, to hear the worst ; and, when he 
had partly dressed and had reached the head of the stairs, he 
heard a message given to Susan, who stood illuminated by 
her own candle, which she shielded from the draught, a queer 
figure in jacket, flannel petticoat, and night-cap. 

" Tell Mr. Rock, with my master, Mr. Tresillian's com- 
pliments, that his little girl is quite safe, and will be sent 
home to-morrow." 

What a long-drawn sigh of relief heaved the old sailor's 
breast, as Susan shouted the message from the bottom of 
the stairs. " Thank God ! thank God ! " he muttered, " that 
she is safe and in good hands." And he tottered back to 
his room, and, extinguishing his candle, got into bed and 
slept tranquilly. 




CHAPTER VII. 




" An angry care did dwell 
In his darker breast, and all gay forms expel." 

Dryden. 

HE old man slept rather later than usual on the fol- 
lowing morning. In fact, he had not time to shave 
before he came down to read the morning paper to 
Susan. He fidgeted about after completing his 
post-breakfast toilette ; and could not help giving expression 
to the thought passing in his mind to Susan, " I wonder 
when she will be back?" — not that he anticipated any plea- 
sure from her return ; he wanted to know how far appear- 
ances had compromised him. He valued the good opinion 
of his neighbours, he feared he had exhibited himselt in a 
very ludicrous position, if not a tyrannical one, with a huge 
walking stick lifted over the head of a little girl. What he 
expected to gather from the child, poor dear old man ! was 
what the great folks had thought of him. The columns of 
the " Times," borrowed from a neighbour that day, had lost 
their usual attraction, for they seemed incomprehensible. 
So much had his brain refused to attach meaning to sen- 
tences, which he read and re-read, he made up his mind 
that the writers of the articles were particularly obscure that 
day. 

Susan's thoughts were not of the pleasantest character 
either. She had her little pride in her master, and the 
shabby state of Sabina's clothes gave her, in recollection, 
pangs of which he luckily was quite ignorant. He knew not 
how repeatedly her stockings had been darned, nor how thin 



Sabina. 57 

her flannel petticoat had become from long wearing, till the 
front was almost transparent from the attrition of two little 
sharp knees. He did not know how the coarse material of her 
linen had been patched and darned. " And those children 
up there, dressed so beautiful and so stuck-up, and she with 
never a bit of night-cap or night-gown to go to bed with." 

"Time and the hour runs through the roughest day," and 
the most dreary also ; and about half-past two Susan heard 
the roll of a carriage coming along the parade, and a sharp 
rat-tat-tat brought her at once to the door, for she had been 
waiting breathlessly in the kitchen with her best cap on, and 
a snowy white apron, which she had that morning washed 
and ironed for the occasion. Some one would be sure to 
bring back the child, and she was determined her master 
should lose no importance by the untidiness of his servant. 
The footman opened the door for Sabina, and offered his 
arm to assist her descent ; but she jumped out with more 
liveliness than dignity, and after the footman had received a 
grim smile and a courtesy from Susan, and had seen the child 
safely within the house, the carriage drove off. 

" Well, indeed, Miss Sabina ! " said Susan, seeing her 
charge, " the same, yet not the same," as to attire. Every- 
thing of the same colour, yet of finer material, and with that 
indescribable look which belongs to well cut out dresses. 
Sabina took no notice of her. She was full of importance, 
and swelled in silence. Her great-uncle had many thoughts 
how to keep up his dignity, though he was longing to go out 
to meet her. He sat in silent majesty in his little room, and 
expected a penitent to fall at his feet and ask forgiveness. 
Sabina considered herself to be the injured person. She 
did not love her uncle, and had no notion of showing any 
sorrow which she did not feel. She passed the door of his 
sitting-room, and walked up stairs with deliberation. 

" Well, Miss, was you happy and comfortable at the great 
house ? Was they kind to you ? " 

'• Of course they were," said Sabina, loftily. 

"Well," continued Susan, in an injured tone, "a fine job 
you gave us with your pranks. Just look here," and she 
turned the child round, and showed a mud-bedrabbled gown 
and petticoat stretched over a towel-horse. "That's just 
what happened to me, when 1 went gandering all over the 



58 Sabina. 

fields at eleven o'clock last night to find you. And I've got 
such a hoarseness on my stomach as will last for weeks and 
weeks, all along of your pranks." 

" Uncle should not have threatened to beat me," said 
Sabina, sullenly. 

"Did he?" said Susan. It threw a new light on the 
affair. " Ah ! he was always a hasty gentleman ; but then 
you must forget and forgive, you know." 

Sabina did not look of a forgetful or forgiving disposition, 
but she said nothing. 

Mr. Rock wondered that the girl did not come down. 
He rang the bell for Susan. 

"Susan, does she seem sorry?" 

Susan's love of L truth struggled with her wish to please 
her master. 

" She said nothing, Sir ; but I think she looks as if she 
might be sorry." 

" Susan ! " clearing his throat ; " don't you think you ought 
to tell her to come and kneel down, and say she will never 
behave so again ? " 

" Well, Sir, if I was you, I would not drive her too far. 
She's a wonderful wilful child; but we must make the best 
of her, and it's no use setting her off again. If I was you, 
Sir, I'd take no notice." 

" Umph ! " said Mr. Rock. 

He could manage a man-of-war's crew — he knew nothing 
of the management of little girls ; but he felt himself some- 
how deprived of a due amount of consequence. He suc- 
cumbed to Susan's better knowledge on this point. He sat 
down again in his place from which, in his eager speech, he 
had half-risen, and took up "Anecdotes of Naval History," 
his favourite reading. * 

Presently Sabina lounged into the room, with a studied 
expression of insolent indifference in her face, and walked 
to the window looking out into the parade, as if she saw 
something there exceedingly interesting. 

Mr. Rock observed her silently over his spectacles, look- 
ing down again when any movement in the back of her head 
indicated an intention of turning round. 

Suddenly she left the room again. " I wonder what she is 
going to do now ! " thought the old man. 



Sabina. 5 9 

"Susan ! " she exclaimed, "put on your bonnet and come 
out for a walk with me." 

" Well, Miss, as soon as I be finished this saucepan, and 
put away the bits of cold 'taties for dinner to-morrow, I 
don't care if I do." 

The sight of Sabina's handsome clothes had had a great 
effect on Susan's mind, and she thought she should like to 
show her off to her acquaintances, and tell how Miss Sabina 
had been on a visit to the great folks at Tregear. She 
thought also that Miss Sabina would tell her more when 
they were walking — would be "more sociable like." In 
this she was mistaken. Sabina's wish to go out arose from 
two reasons — first, that she disliked the old man, and hated 
to be in the only sitting-room with him ; secondly, that she 
fancied she might have a greater chance of seeing Mr. 
Tresillian when she was walking, than circumscribed by the 
four walls of her uncle's house. 

Both returned to it, however, disappointed. Sabina chose 
to tell nothing to Susan of the doings at Tregear, and she 
was not gratified by even a glimpse of the friend she pined 
to see again. 

"Go in, my dear," said Susan, "go in, and I'll take in 
tea ; and do be sociable with your uncle." 

" I don't want to be sociable," retorted the child. 

" You had better, Miss — you had, indeed. You can't live 
with them great folks always. They can't be troubled with 
such as you." 

" Such as I am ? " said Sabina, with angry eyes. 

" There, there, that will do ; now go in, and I'll put away 
your bonnet." 

Sabina sat herself at the tea-table, and her uncle placed a 
cup of tea before her and a ship biscuit. Sabina took the 
latter and rolled it round on its edge, to show her contempt 
for the food provided for her. She liked it really, but dis- 
liked her uncle too much to admit it. The old man saw the 
contemptuous look and gesture, and his wrath began to rise. 

" It is not like the fine food you had at Tregear, I sup- 
pose," said he. 

" No," replied Sabina, shortly, "it is very hard for my teeth." 

" I suppose," said her uncle, " that it need not hurt your 
young teeth, if it does not my old ones." 



60 Sabina. 

" I'm not so sure of that," said Sabina, who had caught a 
glimpse of two suspicious bands of gold in her uncle's 
mouth. She added nothing to this taunt; no addition was 
needed. Mr. Rock had false teeth ; a fact of which he had 
flattered himself no one was cognizant but himself and the 
dentist. Sabina had taken him at a disadvantage. Sabina 
now began to crumble some of the biscuit into her tea, and 
to make the best of it. 

" Ahem," began her uncle, " where did you have your 
meals at Tregear ? " 

" With Lady Sarah," said Sabina, in a conceited tone. 

"What !" said the old man, in a stentorian voice. 

" With her ladyship," repeated the child, by no means 
alarmed. 

"lam afraid you are telling stories," said Mr. Rock, in a 
doubtful tone of suppressed delight. 

" Don't ask me, then," retorted the girl, " if you don't 
believe me." 

A long silence. 

" Who found you ? " he said at last. 

" Mr. Tresillian." 

"What did he say?" 

" He asked me what I was doing there." 

" And what did you say ? " 

" That I had run away from you because you were going 
to beat me." 

"Well," said the old man, nervously, "what said he 
then?" 

"Oh, he said you were a fine, consistent old fellow, who 
carried your principles of service into private life." 

Mr. Rock took it as a compliment. True, he thought the 
expression "old fellow" was a mark of the want of refine- 
merit of the present day, when young men were notorious 
for their absence of respect towards their seniors ; but on 
the whole he was well satisfied. 

" Did Lady Sarah say anything about me " was on 

his lips, but he changed it to " it," encouraged by his pre- 
vious success. 

" Not a word," said Sabina ; " she only asked me if I was 
the little girl that sang so well at church." 

" Hum," said Mr. Rock, disappointed. He thought the 



Sabitta. 6 1 

circumstance might have excited more interest in her lady- 
ship's mind. 

The arrival of Lieutenant Orellan, and the clearing away 
of tea-cups, and the arrangement of the chessmen on the 
board, now allowed Sabina to follow her own devices. She 
knew the moves, and though unable to pursue the intricate 
sequences of those made by two good players, she was in- 
terested in guessing what plans of attack would be made, 
and what defences set up. She watched them thus till the 
whisky-and-water was placed on the table,, and Lieutenant 
Orellan told the little reports of the town — how the dentist, 
who ought to have known better, found a ^20 note on his 
chimney-piece after Mr. Tresillian's agent had called to ask 
for his vote, and laughed and meant to keep it. "It is 
terrible," said one old sailor to the other ; and they agreed 
that pure integrity, honour, and gentlemanlike feeling could 
spring up and bloom only in the congenial atmosphere of a 
man-of-war. 

" Twenty pounds is a great temptation to a poor man, 
Rock," said Orellan, meditatively, thinking of his paralytic 
wife at home, and 'how many small comforts it would 
purchase for her. "Then, Mr. Scott may increase his 
practice in tooth-drawing and tooth-manufacturing, and we, 
poor devils ! are not allowed to do anything but ' stand and 
wait,' till we are half inclined to cry 'stand and deliver,' be- 
cause we are gentlemen." 

" Yes — but we, being gentlemen, could not take a bribe 
without feeling that we had lost the distinction which 
we have clung to since we were small boys — we should 
feel ourselves to be ' dirty dogs and no sailors,' as Jack 
says." 

"Yes, I know 'tis impossible," rejoined Orellan; "but 
how these £10 and ,£20 notes do go flying about." 

In the meantime, Sabina went to bed, tired and sleepy, 
and slept in peace. Susan occupied herself in folding up 
Sabina's clothes, and observing with great satisfaction their 
delicate texture and fashionable make. 

" Something in this pocket," she said, feeling the weight, 
and diving inside she took it out. "Lawks ! this is bootiful ! 
What's this ? A little crown all in gold, and a S and a T 
twisted together ! Why, 'tis my lady's own. What's in- 



62 Sabina. 

side ? O-o-h-h-h ! a ^10 note — Bank of England — two ! ! ! 
£20 !!!!!" 

Susan shut them up in the book, and sat down, white 
and trembling. 

" Oh, Lord ! oh, Lord !" she cried ; " the child's a thief! 
She's been and stole them ! 'Tis like the wicked man in 
the werses master read me, who was treated so hospitable, 
and stole a gold mug — goblet they called it. A little hussey ! 
That was the reason she was so quiet — wouldn't say a word 
about how she got on at Tregear. 'Twas on her mind all 
day. Oh, dear; 'twill break master's heart that his flesh 
and blood should turn to thieving — so young, too, — a little 
baggage — what's to be done ? 'Twill be found out as sure 
as fate, and we shall have the constable coming here to take 
her up. 'Twill be known all over the town that Mr. Rock — 
him who has always kept so respectable — Mr. Rock's niece 
has been took up for stealing." 

Susan sat sobbing, and looking impatiently at the quiet 
sleep of the supposed culprit, till she heard the front door 
slam after the departing footsteps of Mr. Orellan. Then 
she descended, and entering the sitting-room, sat down by 
the doorway, her white apron thrown over her head, sobbing 
and wailing in a manner piteous to see and sad to hear. 

" What the devil, woman, do you mean by all this non- 
sense ? " said her master, seizing her by the shoulder and 
shaking her violently. 

" Oh, Sir," gasping, " oh,~master ! that little hussey — I 
was always against your taking her home — that vile girl ! 
She've been and stole a pocket-book what belongs to Lady 
Sarah up in the great house. The constables '11 be here the 
first of the morning to take her up, and our character's gone 
for ever." 

" My own flesh and blood ! " said the old man, in a tone 
of heart-aching agony that wrung the woman's breast with 
an intensity of sympathy. 

"But," said Mr. Rock, "how do you know it is true? 
How dare you say so of anyone of my family. Prove it — 
prove it ! " he shouted in her ear, having got his face close 
to the white apron. 

" Ah, good lack! 'tis true enough, for here it is, with my 
lady's name upon it, and ^20 inside." 



Sabina. 63 

"^20 inside!!!" 

He had almost repeated the remembered words of his 
friend Orellan — "^20 notes do fly about the town so !" 

Mr. Rock became of the colour of a yellow washed-out 
silk handkerchief, at seeing what he, as well as Susan, con- 
sidered as proof positive of Sabina's guilt. 

" Fetch her down ! " in a voice of thunder. 

" She's asleep, Sir," replied Susan, with a voice of pity for 
the culprit. 

" Fetch her down directly," reiterated her uncle. 

Thus coerced, Susan went up, and shaking Sabina by the 
shoulder, told her that she must get up and come down to 
speak to her uncle. 

Susan put on her shoes and wrapped a shawl round her, 
and half-led, half-lifted her down the stairs to the sitting- 
room, where Mr. Rock sat with open mouth, starting eyes, 
and pale yellow visage, to execute vengeance on the offender. 
Sabina, half asleep, was too stupid at first to understand why 
she was awakened and brought down into the presence of 
her uncle so suddenly. 

" What do you mean by it?" said her uncle, in a hoarse 
and terrible voice. 

" What ? " said Sabina, puzzled. 

"Stealing, M.\ss— steali?tg," and he held up the pocket- 
book. 

" How dare you touch that?" screamed Sabina. " How 
dare you meddle with what is not your own ? 'Tis you are a 
thief, you ugly, hard old man. I hate you. Give me my 
property." 

Mr. Rock could not control his passion ; he hit Sabina a 
slap on the face with his open hand, which left the crimson 
print of every giant finger on her delicate face ; the blood 
sprang from her mouth, which was cut by her teeth — 

" Hard was the hand that dealt the blow, 
Soft were the lips that bled." 

For a moment she was stupified ; but the blood tingled back 
to her face, and made it crimson, and springing on Mr. 
Rock, she fastened her teeth on the back of his hand, cling- 
ing to her hold like a bulldog, crooking up her feet to make 
the weight greater, till the old man howled with the un- 



64 Sabina. 

looked-for pain. Agitated and angry before, the pain 
aroused him to fury, and he shook her off so violently that 
she swung round and fell, her head coming against the 
corner of the table, so that she lay senseless on the ground. 
There are few men who would not have acted with the like 
impatience ; yet, when Mr. Rock saw the girl lying on the 
floor, with a serious contused wound on her temple, his 
agony of remorse was terrible. 

" Well, you have done it now, with a vengeance, master," 
said Susan, " she won't trouble you no more, poor mother- 
less lamb ! " 

He did not answer ; he was occupied in raising Sabina 
tenderly in his arms, and putting back the hair from the 
wound. 

" Up to her bed, Sir," suggested Susan, penitent, when 
she saw her master's terror and dismay, " she's only stunned 
■ — she'll come to herself in a bit or so." 

Mr. Rock obeyed, and laid her carefully in her bed, 
whilst Susan ran to obtain a hot bottle to place at her feet. 
Mr. Rock sat watching the heavy breathing, and trying with 
his fingers the constricted pulse at her wrist. His own 
hand was swollen and aching, but he was unconscious of it. 
Sabina's supposed theft, and her violence and imperti- 
nence to himself had faded from his mind. He saw only 
his great-niece, seemingly nigh unto death from his own 
violence. 

" Susan ! Susan ! stay with her. I must go and get a 
doctor," he said at last, as his increasing terror battled with 
his dread of publicity. 

" Nonsense, Sir ; don't go on so, bringing shame indeed 
on a respectable house like this. Doctors go gabbing all 
over the neighbourhood. She'll do well enough before long 
— you don't know nothing about children." 

Thus advised, Mr. Rock wiped his eyes and his spectacles, 
and sat by the bedside, whilst Susan bathed the wound with 
tepid water. Sabina only aroused herself to feel sick, and 
then slept or dozed again in a way that was alarming to Mr. 
Rock, who, though he knew nothing of children, had seen 
men suffering from pressure of the brain. Susan, on the 
contrary, thought it was a comfort she lay still anyway. 

" What a curse this child is ! " the old man muttered. 



Sab ina. 65 

'• This is the second night I have been agitated and dis- 
turbed. If God don't send us children, truly the devil sends 
nephews and nieces." 

They sat up all night, Susan indulging herself and Mr. 
Rock in the extravagance of a cup of tea diluted with scalt 
milk, but without sugar, which Cornish people gave up at 
the time of the Wilberforce agitation of the slave trade. 
"When morning dawned, Sabina slept more naturally, and 
the old man was glad to have the occupation of shaving and 
dressing before he set out to take counsel of his friend Mr. 
Orellan. This required a great effort ; for though Mr. 
Orellan was older than Mr. Rock, he was junior in the 
service, a fact never forgotten by either in their intercourse. 
Thus, it was with a sense of wounded dignity Mr. Rock put 
on his hat and walked down by the banks of the river to 
the small cottage that contained his friend. 

" He who calleth on his friend in the morning with a loud 
voice, it shall be counted unto him for a curse," says Sol- 
omon, and some vague remembrance of this proverb flitted 
across Mr. Rock's brain when he knocked at Mr. Orellan's 
door, and asked the girl, aged about twelve, if he could see 
her master. The smutty-faced child who had been dis- 
turbed at her task of black-leading the kitchen-grate, wrapped 
her dirty apron round her still dirtier hand, previous to 
turning the handle of the door of the small sitting-room, 
where Mr. Orellan was seated with a very red face, bending 
over a handful of fire, at which he was striving to make a 
piece of toast. He was put out at the unseasonable visit, 
but he rose and placed a chair for his old messmate, and 
then returned to his occupation, observing that Betsy was 
waiting for her breakfast, and was rather impatient. A 
small earthenware teapot with a broken spout, containing 
weak black tea, a piece of salt butter — (fresh butter was 2 s. 
per pound in those days) — and a very stale half loaf, was all 
Mr. Orellan had to offer his guest, who declined, saying he 
had already breakfasted. Then Mr. Orellan poured out 
some tea, and carried the buttered toast he had made up 
stairs to his wife, and coming down again, asked his friend 
whether he could be of any use to him. 

" Well ! Orellan " — now that his required adviser was 
seated opposite, he hesitated — " 'tis a very sad affair " — and 
5 



66 Sabina. 

then he stopped, feeling rather ashamed of the beginning of 
the story. 

" The end and the beginning vex ; 
His reason ; many things perplex j 
With motions, checks and counterchecks.'' 

He had not told Orellan about the visit to Tregear, so he 
sat looking awkward and saying nothing. 

" Hark ! " said Mr. Orellan, as a heavy thumping was 
heard overhead, on the ceiling ; and, setting the door open, 
a feeble, wailing voice was heard from above — " Stephen, I 
want you." 

" My dear Sir," said the poor husband humbly, " I am so 
grieved, so flattered, that you wish for my advice — so vexed 
I cannot attend to you now. You see the girl cannot move 
Betsy, and I have to wash and dress her, and lift her out, to 
have her bed made. I'm sure you'll excuse me, and I'll call 
on you about half-past eleven o'clock, when I've made her 
comfortable." 

Mr. Rock took the hint, and retired. Some thoughts of 
Valerie passed through his mind. Valerie, that sylph of the 
Marseilles' woods, might have grown unwieldy, fat, and 
paralytic ; might have been the burthen to him that " Betsy " 
was to his friend. " But then we should have passed through 
life together, and every act of sacrifice on my part would 
have been hallowed by love, and now, with this infernal 
child, I have the burthen, but none of the love." 

" She's asleep still, Sir," said Susan as Mr. Rock returned. 
" I'm sure my heart is up in my mouth at everything that 
goes by, for I think the constables are coming after that 
poor wicked young thing ; and if I was you, Sir, I'd take the 
needle-book and the notes, and go to her ladyship, and beg 
her to take them back quietly, and say nothing about it." 

" How am I to get there, woman ? Have I got a carriage 
and horses, to go to Tregear ? Can I walk three miles there 
and three back ? You talk stuff ; I've no money to hire a 
carriage and horses. If they send after the purse, there it is 
for them ; I'm too old to go after the great folks. I suppose 
I must have sinned, for Heaven to have so disgraced my 
good name as a punishment." 

Sabina awoke, and got up slowly and tremblingly, but 



Sabina. 67 

was obliged to sit down on the side of her bed several times, 
before she had completed her toilet. Her head ached — her 
neck was stiff — she felt miserably ill. Her pretty book had 
been taken from her whilst she slept, that the beautiful lady 
had told her to take care of ; she had asked Susan for it, but 
Susan replied that her uncle had it. 

Then Sabina remembered the accusation and the blow, 
whilst she thought but little, if at all, of her retaliation ; and 
she leaned her aching head on her small hand, and brooded 
in sullen resentment against Susan and her uncle. Mr. 
Rock did not come up to her room when he knew her to be 
better. He walked up and down his small sitting-room, and 
knocked his legs against the furniture. He was waiting for 
Orellan, and that made a little point of time to which to 
look forward. 

At length Mr. Orellan came, and with many groans and 
much hesitation, his old shipmate told him all the circum- 
stances. Mr. Orellan was not often elevated into the dig- 
nity of an adviser. He made the most of it. 

" Hum-m-m ! " said he, stroking his newly shaved chin. 

"Well! but what's to be done?" said Mr. Rock im- 
patiently. He had got over the misery of confession, and 
was waiting much too long for his absolution, he considered. 

" I cannot decide without much thought," said Mr. 
Orellan, " on the curious circumstances you have related to 
me, but I feel disposed to doubt the child's having stolen 
the purse." 

" Damn it ! How the devil should she have got it, 
then ? " said Mr. Rock, angrily. 

" Might it not have been given to her, Sir ? " replied his 
friend, meekly. 

" You talk nonsense, Orellan. Give a child £10 ! " 

At this juncture a carriage was heard rolling past the 
parade. 

" Have you threatened your niece with a visit to Tregear, 
to return the suspected purse ? " said he ; " because if she be 
innocent, she will assent joyfully ; if guilty, she would show 
her distress in her countenance." 

" Oh Lord ! Oh Lord ! " said Susan, bursting into the 
room. " There's my lady's carriage a-coming, sure as fate, 
to ask about the purse." 
5—2 



68 Sabina. 

The carriage did not stop at Haven House ; it rolled on- 
ward to the principal shop in Deepindale. As they all 
stood listening to the tramp of the departing hoofs of the 
horses, they heard the front door shut softly. 

" She's gone out," said Susan, with a gasp. 

They all proceeded to the door, to see Sabina, without 
bonnet or cloak, flying after the carriage. They could see, 
by leaving the locality of the house and advancing a few 
yards, that it had stopped at Mr. Clemmow's shop. Sabina 
was running with stumbling uncertain steps towards it. No 
one, in or on the carriage, saw her. The Tregear folks had 
only given an order and driven on ; and poor Sabina, breath- 
less, and with a splitting headache, leaned against the low 
stone pillar that made, united by a chain with others, a barri- 
cade against the road. 

Mr. Orellan turned back to the house, followed by Mr. 
Rock. " What do you think now ? " inquired he. " She 
would not go after the carriage as if the devil was after her, 
if she did not know she had nothing to be ashamed of." 

Mr. Rock remembered the bruise on her head, and 
thought, in that case, he had something to be ashamed of. 

" But that ^20 ? " said he doubtfully. 

Orellan drew him within his sitting room, and closing the 
door mysteriously, said, " I told you ^20 notes were flying 
about all over the town. You have a vote, and have not 
yet promised to give it to Lady Sarah's favourite son, Mr. 
Tresillian." 

" Whew-w-w-w ! " said Mr. Rock, with a terrible conviction 
that he was considered bribable. That Orellan should have 
hit on this by no means preposterous solution of the mys- 
tery, mortified his vanity. Why had he not thought of 
that which now seemed self-evident ? 

" How dares he — how dares Mr. Tresillian — how dares 
Lady Sarah insult me so ? And how dare you, Sir, to 
suggest that such is their motive ? " 

" Surely, Sir," replied Orellan, meekly, "you had rather 
that were the case, than that your niece should have com- 
mitted a theft ? " 

" I don't know that, Sir. What the devil is my niece to 
me ? A little limb of Satan, My honour is all that I have 
— all that I have saved out of the wreck of my life — and you 



Sabina. 69 

come with this cock-and-a-bull suggestion of yours, to show 
that those people think me — me — an officer in his Majesty's 
navy, entitled by my profession to appear in his presence — 
on a par with that fellow who makes false teeth — with the 
brewer who sells villanous beer— with every pettifogging little 
scoundrel to whom the word honour conveys no meaning. I 
beg your pardon, Orellan — I am too warm, and I feel," 
throwing open his waistcoat, " so stifled and bursting here" 
putting his hand on his breast. " Let us go out and walk 
towards your house ; it is quiet now by the river side, and 
we will talk of what is to be done in this sad business. If 
Providence had not sent me that infernal child, none of this 
would have happened." 

Orellan lifted his hat. 

" Don't blame Providence, Mr. Rock, nor blaspheme." 

They went out together. 

Sabina had returned to the house, silent and depressed, 
She could not run as fast as two fine carriage-horses could 
trot, she found ; and unreasonable as it was, she could not 
help feeling as if Lady Sarah and the young ladies in the 
carriage had known of her pursuit, and had laughed at its 
failure. Lady Sarah had not been there ; it had contained 
only the governess and the children, but of that Sabina was 
ignorant. Her uncle having left the sitting-room clear, 
Sabina sat down, and leant her aching head on the table. 
She cried a little, and then became drowsy. She was 
awakened by hearing Susan's voice, saying, — 

li No, Sir; master is not at home." 

" When will he be in ? " 

" Oh, in about a quarter of an hour, or twenty minutes," 
said Susan. 

" I will come in, and wait. I want to see him on busi- 
ness," said Mr. Tresillian. 

"Oh, lor! 'tis the pus that wicked child stole, no doubt, 
he's come after ; or, p'rhaps, 'tis election business," thought 
Susan. She only said — " Please to walk in, and sit down, 
Sir. Master won't be long." 

Sabina started up, and gazed in a startled manner at the 
person she most wished to see in the world. 

Mr. Tresillian, bent on being agreeable, advanced towards 
her, holding out his hand. " Well, my little friend, what is 



70 Sabina. 

this ? " looking rather shocked at the appearance of one side 
of her face and head. " Who has used you thus ? " 

Sabina clasped the hand he gave tightly in both of her 
own, and tried to speak, but was fearful of bursting into 
tears ; so she stood swallowing in great gulps her inclination 
to cry, and did not answer at once. 

Mr. Tresillian hated scenes, even with children. He 
thought his nieces great nuisances, and it was too bad to be 
worried by this stupid old fellow's niece. True, he very 
much preferred that his brother should beget only the frailer 
sex, giving thereby some future wife of his the chance of per- 
petuating the family title ; but that did not prevent those 
children being very much in the way when, as now, they 
came on a visit to Tregear. But he was bent, as I have said 
before, on being agreeable, and, sitting down, he drew the 
little girl to his side, and passed his arm round her waist, 
while, in the tenderest of tones, he questioned her as to the 
injury to her head. 

" My lady— Lady Sarah." 

"Yes. What of Lady Sarah ? " 

" She gave me a purse — no, 'twas a needle-book, with 
pretty letters outside and a crown, and she told me to take 
care of it ; and— and — when I was asleep Susan took it from 
my pocket, and Mr. Rock has kept it," and here came a 
burst of tears and sobs. 

"Well ! but how came this bruise and cut on your head?" 

" Mr. Rock found money in the needle-book, and he was 
so angry that he knocked me down against the corner of the 
table there, and that's how it was." 

"Well, but surely " But here Mr. Tresillian flushed, 

and felt disposed to give utterance to the whew ! which had 
burst from the angry lips of Mr. Rock : but the sound, 
though the same, was meant to express a different feeling. 
There was in Mr. Tresillian's mind the consciousness of a 
blunder committed by his lady mother, in giving the child 
^20. £,io was the exact sum offered by his agents to 
doubtful voters at Deepindale. He began to walk up and 
down the room with a troubled look, which much disturbed 
Sabina, who preferred the former state of affairs, when his 
arm had been so kindly placed round her. He was trying 
to arrange his thoughts so that when Mr. Rock returned, he 



Sabina. 7 1 

might be able to say something likely to satisfy the injured 
honour of the man whose vote was so valuable to him. To 
do his penetration justice, he never would have offered any 
bribe so gross as money to a man who, though very poor, 
was by profession and feeling a gentleman. " Do you know 
how your uncle means to vote ? " said he suddenly to Sabina. 
" Not for me, I fear, now." 

Sabina was mortified. He had appeared so sorry for her 
trouble, and now he seemed to have quite forgotten it. "- She 
answered timidly that she did not know. 

He returned to the table and sat down, fixing his eyes on 
the decaying embers of the small fire, of which he saw no- 
thing. 

Sabina came and knelt down at his feet, and threw her 
arms round both his knees, hiding her face on them, her 
dark curling hair tumbling over her shoulders in wild con- 
fusion. 

"Mignon and Wilhelm Meister," said Mr. Tresillian, 
smiling to himself. " What is it, my dear ? Look up — tell 
me what you wish. Shall I get back your book from Mr. 
Rock ? What is it — the book or the money you regret, or 
both ? " 

" Oh ! " wailed Sabina, " I want to go away with you. I 
want to go back to Lady Sarah. I hate him — I hate Mr. 
Rock. He tries to beat me, and then he knocks me down. 
He can't bear me. I am miserable here. Oh ! I want you 
to take me quite away ! " 

" Here's a state of affairs ! " said the young man to him- 
self. " Fancy a child taking such a fancy to me. It would 
be difficult to persuade those children at Tregear that I am 
so attractive." He raised Sabina, and placed her as she 
had before stood by his side, and this time he kissed 
her face tenderly. " Kissing is usual at electioneering 
times, my child," said he, apologetically, thinking, perhaps, 
that Sabina might think it improper ; but no such thought 
entered her head ; for, passing one of her arms round his 
head, she kissed his white forehead very innocently and 
lovingly. 

" You are good to me, and I love you so much," said she, 
" as much as I loved papa, I think." 

" Ah ! " thought Mr. Tresillian, smiling, " I am not so 



7 2 Sabina. 

flattered after all. Tis not a case of Mignon and Wilhelm 
Meister. I wonder if she thinks me old enough to be her 
father ? " 

" You will let me go and live with you," Sabina went on 
to say. 

Mr. Tresillian was puzzled how to answer her, without 
making her cry again. " I will speak to Lady Sarah," he 
said, temporising. 

" Then I shall be quite happy," the child cried, with her 
face all beaming. 

" What a sparkling face it is ! She will be wonderfully 
beautiful as a woman," thought her companion. 

A step was heard outside the window, and the flush faded 
from Sabina's face. She griped the hand of Mr. Tresillian 
very hard. "Oh! he's coming!" she said; "and I hate 
him so. I hate the great bald place on the top of his head, 
and his black beady eyes, and the ugly hairs on the back of 
his hands." 

" Hush ! my dear ; he's coming in," as Mr. Rock was 
heard going through his usual exercise, prior to entering. 
First one foot was drawn over the door-mat thrice ; then it 
was bent down, so as to oppose the outside edge to the 
friction ; then the left or inner side of the boot ; then the 
heel was rubbed, the toe being held in the air ; then the toe 
was pointed, as if he had been about to dance ; after which 
performance the exercise on one foot was considered com- 
plete. The same ceremony was gone through with the left 
foot, during which time Sabina, pricked in conscience, per- 
haps, at the remembrance of all her vituperations against her 
uncle, sidled up to the door and stood back as the old man 
opened it, passing out as he entered, Mr. Rock having been 
too much occupied by the appearance of his visitor to regard 
her in any way. 

Mr. Tresillian rose, and bowed one of those sharp, short, 
and decisive bows, introduced by George the Fourth, when 
Prince of Wales, under the tuition of Madame Micheau ; con- 
sisting of drawing the foot with a slide to one side, and get- 
ting both together, preparatory to a quick bob of the head — 
the spine being kept erect. 

Mr. Rock bent his forward, and bowed both head and 
body, one leg being sent up behind him in the air, after the 



Sabina. 73 

fashion of bows from Louis the Fourteenth to the time of 
George the Third. Then both gentlemen looked at each 
other. " The foul weather-flag is hoisted," thought the 
young man. Mr. Rock's face was fixed and gloomy. 

" I have called," said Mr. Tresillian, sweetly, " to solicit 
the favour of your vote, once more ; and I trust this time 
not in vain." 

"Ahem!" said Mr. Rock. He had a remembrance of 
the ridiculous figure he had cut with his arm raised over his 
niece's head, and he did not like to begin the old story of 
flogging again. On other points he approved Mr. Tresillian's 
principles. He was swelling with anger, too, at the thought 
of the ,£20 he had in his pocket. " Before we speak on that 
subject, Sir," he said, " I must thank you for the hospitality 
you showed my niece — you and Lady Sarah— to whom I beg 
you will express my sense of obligation ; and also, I must re- 
quest that you will return to that lady two notes of ^10 
each, which her ladyship was probably ignorant were in it at 
the time when she gave this needle-book to the child." He 
took out the notes and pushed them towards Mr. Tresillian, 
who hesitated — a man of the world though he was, he flushed 
painfully. "I take it for granted," Mr. Rock continued, 
with a passionate tremor in his voice, " that this — the most 
favourable aspect in which I can view the affair — is a true 
one." 

" Pardon me," said the young gentleman, smiling, " I think 
my mother was quite aware of what she was doing, when she 
gave your little girl the money. Lady Sarah is both wealthy 
and generous. She was exceedingly delighted with the great 
talent and magnificent voice possessed by Miss Rock. That 
is her name, is it not ? And as she would have given Signora 
Canti a ^50 note gladly for an evening's entertainment of a 
similar kind, I think, as a little token of gratitude for the 
gratification she had experienced, she placed the notes in the 
book before she presented it to Miss Rock. So far from any 
degradation to either party in this transaction, it is not more 
than ten years since I looked hard at all my relations or 
friends before I returned to Eton after the holidays, to see 
what they were about to ' come down ' with, as slang men 
say." He paused, for he saw he had produced an effect by 
his statement. 



74 Sabina. 

" My niece is not a public singer yet, Sir ; and any grati- 
fication she afforded Lady Sarah, she was bound to bestow, 
in return for the great kindness and hospitality with which 
she was treated at Tregear. Be so good as to return the 
notes to her ladyship, and the book. My niece will require 
nothing to remind her of Lady Sarah's kindness. I shall be 
happy to register my vote in your favour, Mr. Tresillian." 

The young man gathered up the notes and placed them 
in the case, and, holding out his hand, thanked Mr. Rock 
very frankly for his promised support. Only a few words 
more were interchanged. Mr. Tresillian had got all he 
wanted, and congratulated himself on his tact in getting over 
the prejudice with which the conversation had begun ; and 
Mr. Rock was glad to have been soothed into a good temper, 
and to have sustained his part with due regard to his own 
honour and dignity. 

" That old man has the feelings of a gentleman, though he 
is somewhat Spartan in his treatment of that child," was 
Mr. Tresillian's reflection. " Poor little beggar ! how fond 
she is of me ! I wonder whether I shall get Orellan's vote. 
Probably. They say he follows suit with Rock." 

That evening Mr. Rock intimated to his friend, that 
though Mr. Tresillian was absurdly crotchety about the 
abolition of flogging in the navy, — " I should like to see how 
he would work a ship without it " — yet, on the whole, he ap- 
proved of his principles, and meant to vote for him, and he 
supposed Orellan would do likewise. 

" Yes, certainly," said his obedient shipmate ; and they 
set themselves sternly to the delightful intricacies of chess. 
On one point Orellan would never give way. He would as 
soon have thought of a treacherous surrender of his vessel to 
the enemy, as of giving the game to his antagonist, or not 
playing his best. Beautiful exercise of the brain ! which 
needs, no foreign stimulus of money to create an interest, nor 
any charm unborrowed from itself to wrap the players in 
oblivion as to their proper cares. Mr. Rock and Mr. 
Orellan forgot they were gentleman-like paupers. Mr. 
Rock, his tiresome niece ; Mr. Orellan, his paralytic wife. 
When the game was over, and the hot whisky and water 
steamed on the little ink-stained mahogany four-legged table, 
under the weather-beaten nose of one lieutenant, and an in- 



Sabina. 75 

nocent basin of gruel, with salt only, comforted the internals 
of the other, they fought the battle over again, and decided 
whether Orellan's play of his white bishop had won the 
game, or Rock's blunder with his rook's pawn had lost it. 

The election was over, and Mr. Tresillian had been re- 
turned by a small majority, which made him rejoice all the 
more at his having obtained the votes of his sailor friends. 
Sabina's heart had been kept in a constant flutter by bands 
of music, banners and ribbons — by the screams and shouts 
of the populace, " Tresillian for ever ! Down with the 
Blues !" &c, &c, &c. At length her hero was chaired. On 
a platform with four poles, carried by four of the strongest 
men to be produced in the Borough of Deepindale, or its 
neighbourhood, an arm-chair was placed, in which the 
fortunate (or unfortunate, as might be considered) member 
was placed. On arriving at any building of note, the plat- 
form was elevated thrice amidst the deafening cheers of the 
populace. It must have been difficult for any man to look 
triumphant under such circumstances, though assured by the 
inspiring strains of " See the Conquering Hero Comes," not- 
withstanding which, Mr. Tresillian, standing with his legs 
apart to steady himself, one hand holding by the arm of 
the chair, and the other waving his hat, with a quantity 
of light curling hair, which blew up and down as 
he was waved in the air, looked as fine a specimen of 
youth and beauty as ever had dawned on the worthy 
voters of his native town. His hair was worn in cluster- 
ing curls — not cut to the length of half an inch as in 
the present fashion, which gives one unpleasant ideas ot 
hospital and prison discipline. But the pride', pomp, and 
circumstance of the election was over. Like beggars the 
candidates disappeared — one having got all he wanted, the 
other knowing there was nothing to get, and Deepindale 
sank down into its original stagnation. The carriage from 
Tregear no longer excited the small shopkeepers to put on 
their best aprons, as the prancing of its horses was heard in 
the distance ; Lady Sarah went to Brighton, Mr. Tresillian, 
like the evil spirit in Job, " up and down the world," and 
the governess and the young ladies to their paternal home. 

Mr. Rock was left with his incumbrance. It was not the 
old man and Sinbad, but a reverse case. The old man had 



7 6 Sabina. 

a monkey-like child compelled to cling to him, though the 
attachment occasioned as much grief to the child as incon- 
venience to the old man. But the old lieutenant was 
softened by the way in which the youthful member had 
spoken of his niece's performances. " I thought myself she 
had a wonderful pipe of her own," said he. 

As they sat in the twilight by the fire, to save the solitary 
candle which was all the light Mr. Rock could afford, each 
was silent, gazing at the fire ; but the compelled inactivity 
was to " the young heart hot and restless," a weary punish- 
ment ; to the old man, who lived in memory over his 
past life, it was not unpleasurable. He dozed, too, oc- 
casionally, with his drooping eyelids shadowing the dark 
eyeballs, which were fixed on the firelight, and fancied he 
was again walking on the deck of the vessel outward bound, 
which had first borne him from his home. The flicker of the 
fire reminded him how sadly through his boyish tears he had 
watched the Lizard lights as they disappeared and were 
seen again, as the vessel tossed and rose or fell in the 
trough of the sea — all his old yearnings for home returned 
to his memory ; his mother's form, on whom he doated, and 
for whose sake he had determined to " do or die," his pretty 
sisters, who had spent their few hoarded pennies to buy him 
small remembrances. Then the scene changed — there was 
the whistling wind, the roar of the waters, the creaking of 
the masts, the fluttering sails, the strained cordage — they 
were in the Baltic with the admiral's ship in tow. The 
vessel in which Rock was, laboured frightfully — if the cable 
holds, they must perish together — the noble ship in which 
he was a lieutenant and the unhappy man-of-war they were 
trying to save — a horror steals through his veins, for a dirk 
glides down the cable in a stealthy hand, and the ship rides 
free of her lost burthen — free to return to her native land. 
Whilst the captain of her more chivalrous consort, who 
signalled that he should not leave his admiral till he had 
orders, was soon with his crew sacrificed to their chief, 
whose frozen body was one of many piled up to defend 
those still living from the biting wind. 

He stirs and shivers, and dreams again. He is full of the 
fence of action — a man with all of manhood's power and 
courage — how he climbs up the side of that hostile vessel— 



Sabina. 7 7 

what angry, eager faces are awaiting him to strike him down 
as he arrives within their reach — one fires, he is hit, he falls 
back — and suiting the action to the thought of his dream, 
his feet are extended, and he knocks down the fire-irons, and 
awakes to find himself a half-pay lieutenant of sixty-five, 
feeble, poor, and with a confirmed heart-disease. No 
wonder the noble heart suffered, after the uneasy life its 
possessor had led it; always hoping and fearing, never 
satisfied with inaction — working incessantly to perform his 
own duties, and often those of others, and now he was a 
sheer hulk. He did not grumble at the neglect by which 
his services had been met — he was quite willing to believe 
that the young men who had been promoted over his 
head were possessed of good qualities, though he had not 
discovered them. The infliction of this child, who did not 
seem to have come to him professionally, as it were, was a 
grievous irritation ; — he had forgotten her in his dream, and 
awoke to see her bright, restless eyes fixed on him, whilst 
her feet were stretched out to the edge of the fender, and 
her fingers twisted themselves into contortions which only 
children born in hot climates, as a rule, can produce. 

' ; Can you sing 'The Saucy Arethusa?'" said Mr. Rock 
to his niece. 

" No ! I can't sing anything, because there's no piano." 

" Hum ! Can you sing the ' Sailor's Grave ' when you 
have a piano ? " 

" Yes, and all those kind of songs — ' The Heaving of the 
Lead,' and ' Sweet Poll of Plymouth,' and ' The Lizard 
Lights ; ' mamma used to sing them all." 

This set Mr. Rock thinking of his deficient household ar- 
rangements as regarded the education of the child. He had 
no piano, and could not afford to buy one. Then his 
thoughts wandered to the small house rented by a widowed 
lady named Cleverly, and to a miniature little instrument 
which stood blocking up the passage, for whose admission 
into the sitting-room there was no convenient space. He 
would see what could be done ; in the meantime, Sabina 
could amuse herself by reading anecdotes of " Naval 
History " — and here was Orellan. 

" Sabina, set out the chessmen." 



CHAPTER VIII. 

" Music has charms to soothe a savage beast, 
To soften rocks, and bend a knotted oak.'' 

Congreve. 




IRS. CLEVERLY was only too happy to lend Mr. 
Rock the piano for his niece. She feared it was 
sadly out of order ; but then no doubt Mr. Temple, 
the organist, would put it right for a trifle. Miss 
Rock might keep it as long as she pleased, for she, Mrs. 
Cleverly, " had not the slightest use for it — it was in the 
way rather than not," thus making what is called a Cornish 
compliment, with the real delicacy that strives to diminish 
the sense of obligation. 

After Mr. Rock had paid away more shillings than he 
could well afford in the transportation of the piano, he found 
it conferred but a mitigated amount of enjoyment to himself 
— of its effect on the child he could not judge. She played 
and sung all day, and in the twilight she sang the songs the 
old man delighted in — " For England when with Favouring 
Gales," " Fresh and Strong the Breezes Blowing," and 
" Come all ye Jolly Sailors Bold." This was delightful ; but 
Mr. Rock's ideas of quarter-deck discipline were stumbling- 
blocks to Sabina and to himself, as regarded her music. She 
played mostly by ear, and could arrange a good bass accom- 
paniment ; but by notes she could only perform a few pieces 
she had been carefully taught by her mother. Mr. Rock 
had once heard Valerie play the overture to the Zauberflote, 
and without any regard or knowledge of the difficulty of the 
piece, he insisted on Sabina's learning it. She tried the first 
chords successfully, and played about a dozen bars, when 



Sabina. 79 

she declared it was ugly and stupid, and too difficult, and 
she woujd not learn any more of it. In vain Mr. Rock in- 
sisted — she took no notice. As a punishment, he closed the 
instrument and took away the key ; she looked in his face 
and whistled. She knew he enjoyed her singing in the 
evening, and she did not care to play or sing now that the 
novelty of regaining a piano was over, so that she felt con- 
vinced that the punishment would be greater to him than to 
herself. 

Mr. Rock had hoped that her wonderful voice, if improved 
by practice, might enable her to obtain a living as a gover- 
ness, or on the stage. Both plans were repugnant to his 
feelings, but what could become of her when he died ? The 
thought of her destitution made his old heart ache. Better 
to bear " the proud man's contumely " than to starve or go to 
the workhouse for aid. 

I fear Mr. Rock is beginning to love this wayward child. 
He had better try to reach Australia in a cockle-shell of a 
boat, and thus lose his life, than risk his happiness by fixing 
his affections on her. Alas ! they were already taking root. 
Since he had stamped out the love of Valerie from his heart, 
he had had none on whom he might lavish all the mighty 
devotion of his unselfish feelings. These were now to be 
given to Sabina. 





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CHAPTER IX. 

" Integers of thrift, 
From toil and self-denial." 

j]R. ROCK had managed to save ^ioo out of his 
income, of which part had been intended to pay 
his funeral expenses ; £10 to go to old Susan; 
and the rest to meet any small sums that might be 
owing at the time of his decease. " What man, by taking 
thought, can add one cubit to his stature," or one pound to 
his banker's account ? There was a charm to him in this 
round sum ; but the charm was now to be broken in upon. 
To abstract any more from his household expenses would be, 
he knew, impossible ; but he thought of Sabina's musical 
talent, and of his own incapability of cultivating it, and he, 
with a heavy sigh, determined to sacrifice at least one pound 
for a quarter's tuition in music. " We shall see if she im- 
proves enough to justify me in paying the four pounds for 
one year," he said, and he walked towards the untidy house 
inhabited by the German organist, Mr. Temple. 

Mr. Temple had £60 yearly as organist of the parish 
church, and contrived by teaching, and tuning pianos, to add 
£ 1 00 yearly to his income in addition ; but though Mr. 
Rock had but ^90, and kept up the appearance of a gentle- 
man, without owing a single penny at the end of each 
month, Mr. Temple was indebted to every tradesman in 
the town of Deepindale, and could with difficulty obtain 
credit for a loaf of bread, when he required it. Self-indul- 
gence was the habit of the one ; self-denial of the other. 
Mr. Temple was a good-natured voluptuary, who seemed to 



Sabina. 8 1 

consider a tradesman was intended to be the natural prey 
of the consumer, and considered there was no disgrace, but 
simply misfortune, in a state of debt. 

Clean to scrupulousness in his person, and pure in his 
ideas of honour and honesty, Mr. Rock would rather have 
sold his chronometer, his only valuable household god, than 
have allowed a tradesman to wait twelve months for his 
money ; yet such was the ungrateful state of the minds of 
the small shopkeepers in Deepindale, that they preferred 
Mr. Temple, the jolly companion, who took a cheerful glass 
with them, and had long unpaid accounts, the items of 
which he never dared to examine, to Mr. Rock, who looked 
sharply at their charges, and paid them every week. Pro- 
bably they each argued thus : "Temple has over £x 60 a-year ; 
the money must come to some one, and why not to me ? 
If there be a smash, and we are paid so much in the pound, 
having overcharged systematically, I cannot be really much 
a loser." 

Mr. Temple was a man of genius ; a first rate musician, 
both in principle and practice. He was quite pleased at 
the idea of having a new pupil ; " magnificent voice, only 
wants a little of my training." 

He came for his first lesson. Mr. Rock produced a 
tattered copy of the redoubtable Zauberflote. Mr. Temple 
smiled at the injunction that Miss Rock was to learn it. 

" Certainly, Mr. Rock, we shall be delighted." 

When he was gone, Mr. Temple said to Sabina : " You 
shall learn three bars of this at each lesson ; but it is dif- 
ficult, and requires perfect execution to make it agreeable. 
To amuse you and exercise the speed of your little fingers, 
we will also learn, i Lison dormait dans un borage,' with 
variations." He played the air and the first variation ; but 
stopped Sabina as she was about to begin it eagerly. " No ; 
physic first, and sugar-plum afterwards." 

Sabina made a wry face ; but obeyed. A shower of rain 
came on just as the lesson concluded. 

" Miss Griggs must wait," said he ; "I can't afford wet 
boots ; " but he was not bound to teach ; and, sitting down, 
he modulated on the instrument, and then his fingers stole 
into the half divine movement of one of Haydn's " Seven 
Words," "This day shalt thou be with me in paradise." 
6 



82 Sabina. 

Sabina listened breathlessly and motionless till it was con- 
cluded. 

" Oh-o-o-h ! " she said. " Again." 

Mr. Temple was pleased. He played it again ; but the 
second time he introduced a grace of his own. 

" Not that ! not that ! " exclaimed Sabina. 

" Ah ! you have true feeling," cried her master. " You 
knew that ornament was not in accord with the genius of the 
composition." 

Master and pupil understood each other ; a new era was 
begun in Sabina's life. Tuesdays and Fridays were the two 
bright spots in her existence ; she forgave her master his 
dirty hands ; his hair and whiskers, redolent of stale to- 
bacco ; his coat covered with particles of snuff. I am not 
sure that she did not tolerate that loathsome powder for the 
rest of her life, for the remembrance of her lessons. Mr. 
Rock's nose was sensitive, and when Mr. Temple had de- 
parted, he always set both door and windows open 
to purify the room. Sometimes the music-master, whose 
favourite instrument was the violoncello, would bring it in 
the evening, and accompany Sabina in the sonatas she had 
learnt by his tuition. Poor Mr. Rock was even induced, by 
the promise of hearing his favourite overture to the Zauberflote 
performed, to consent to receive two violin players, as 
dirty and unprincipled as their chief, who executed the piece 
with Sabina exceedingly well, and took long draughts of hot 
whisky and water with Orellan afterwards, with a hearty 
good will, that made Mr. Rock doubt whether they would 
arrive at their own homes when the party broke up. 

Sabina enjoyed her lessons, but felt little love or gratitude 
to her uncle. He was often cross and irritable ; he was so 
particularly, on one occasion, when, at the end of the 
quarter, he presented his guinea to Temple, and asked for a 
receipt. 

" Two, if you please," said the organist. 

" Two ! " in a voice of thunder. " You told me one 
guinea a quarter." 

" Certainly, Mr. Rock ; but there is a guinea for entrance." 

The lieutenant groaned, and paid it. It had not been 
anticipated, and he was cross to Sabina, and reproached 
her with the expense she had entailed upon him. She said 



Sabitia, 83 

nothing ; but felt the injustice, and was ungrateful for the 
sacrifice he made in giving her lessons ; she had not asked 
for them. 

Children, up to the age when they are compelled to fight 
their own way in the world, are never grateful for money 
spent on their education. Even the most clever feel they 
would rather not learn. The old forget that they were un- 
grateful in their youth, and resent the want of appreciation 
shown by their juniors for the sacrifices made for their good. 

But time made Sabina more and more useful to her uncle, 
and more beloved by him. 

Lieutenant Orellan, for several evenings, could not leave 
his sick wife, who became more helpless and irritable as her 
infirmities increased. One evening, when the chessmen 
were already set out, Mr. Rock looked nervously and re- 
peatedly at his chronometer, finding Orellan was five 
minutes after his time. " She must be worse, I fear," he 
said to himself. 

" Uncle," cried Sabina, " will you let me begin a game ? 
and I will leave off if Mr. Orellan comes." 

" You, you little sprat ! " replied the lieutenant ; " do you 
know the moves ? " 

" That is all," said Sabina, humbly, for her respect for the 
two chess-players was unbounded. 

Of course, she was beaten ; but her uncle was pleased. 
Sabina had had a good lesson in her defeat. 

' : May I take back that move ?" she asked her uncle. 

'' You may play like a child, if you please," replied Mr. 
Rock ; " but you will never be a good player unless you 
play the strict game." 

Sabina assented, and lost her queen ; but she never after 
repeated the mistake which had so embarrassed her move- 
ments in the game. 

Poor child ! It was well she had resources in Mr. Rock's 
small home, or her life would have been dreary in the 
extreme. 

Miss Wise kept a seminary for young ladies, who were 
turned out to play on the parade every day from twelve to 
one o'clock. When Sabina had first been domesticated with 
her uncle, Susan had washed her face, combed her hair, 
pinched her bonnet into proper shape, and sent her out, 
6—2 



84 Sabinct. 

with the injunction, — "Go and play with those pretty young 
ladies ; 'twill do you good, my dear ! " Now Sabina thought 
of Mabel Snow, and how nice it had been to play with her, 
and she bounded eagerly through the trees on the parade to 
the gravel-walk where the girls were playing " Prisoner's 
base." 

" I'm come to play, too," said Sabina, cheerfully. " I 
should like it very much." 

They stopped, and whispered amongst themselves. 

Sabina felt awkward ; but, as they all moved off in a body 
to the other side of the parade, she followed, thinking they 
preferred that side to the one first chosen. 

" I'm come to play, too," repeated Sabina ; that time with 
a little quiver in her voice. 

They stopped, and looked at her without speaking, ex- 
cepting one little girl, who gesticulated eagerly, and made an 
unintelligible sound. Sabina tried to understand with ears 
and eyes. The oldest girl spoke at length. 

" 'Tis useless to address that young lady ; she is deaf and 
dumb ; and you must go away. If you don't choose to go 
we must ; you don't belong to us." 

Sabina walked away slowly, and proudly in outward ap- 
pearance ; but with smothered sobs of mortification and 
grief. She walked alone on the deserted side of the parade, 
and hoped that Susan had not been looking out to see the 
rebuff she had experienced. When she returned that old 
servant hoped she had had a nice game of play with the 
young ladies. 

Sabina said, shortly : " No; she did not like them." And 
Susan thought that she was a queer child, and nothing so 
pleasant and pretty-mannered as other young ladies. 



CHAPTER X. 



' A down her shoulders fell her length of hair, 
A riband did her braided tresses bind, 
The rest was loose, and wantoned in the wind." 



Dryden. 




IVE years and a-half passed on; ^10 ios. had 
been abstracted from the funeral store, for Mr. 
Rock could not afford her more than two years' 
tuition ; of this, nine guineas had been paid to 
Mr. Temple, and one pound for music. With all her ener- 
gies given to this one study ; with no companion of her own 
age to divert her attention ; with a voice so beautiful and 
powerful that it would have arrested attention even had it 
been uncultivated, Sabina's proficiency in music excited the 
envy and hatred and malice of all the mothers with less 
gifted daughters, who strove in the same race with Mr. 
Rock's niece. 

The beauty which had been prophesied as her future en- 
dowment by Mr. Tresillian, had bloomed beyond expecta- 
tion. She was small and slight, but her limbs had become 
rounded instead of angular ; her complexion was clear, 
with an occasional flush of delicate pink on her brown skin ; 
the eyes large, and with a blueish tint in the white, which 
enhanced the soft brown eyeball, catching velvety lights, 
like the back of the humble bee ; her hair still fell in curls 
over her shoulders, and was frequently a cause of offence to 
her uncle, when the hairs straggled singly on her neck. He 
had bought a comb, and insisted on its being twisted up ; 
but the hair was so abundant that it rebelled, and fell down 
again. At length Sabina, with a carelessness her uncle 



86 Sabina. 

jrvst... - " 

could never eradicate, left it on the floor where it had fallen, 
and Mr. Rock, coming into the room suddenly, trod on it, 
and crushed it into innumerable bits. After that, the curls 
fell into their usual position, and no further attempt was 
made to imprison them. 

Her uncle doated on her, but with his love came torment ; 
he had the strictest ideas of female propriety. Sabina 
defied all rules; he thought neatness of dress an almost 
religious duty ; Sabina cared for a rent in her dress as little 
as the French peasant who danced with Sterne, and sang 
the Gascoygne roundelay, " Viva la joia ! Fidon la tris- 
tessa/" 

"Be 

' Still, unobtrusive, serious, and meek, 
The first to listen, and the last to speak,' " 

said her uncle, but Sabina never could resist a repartee when 
it rose to her lips. Mr. Rock had obtained permission to 
occupy, with Miss Rock, a pew which had been vacated by 
a family gone abroad. He was uneasy if she looked round 
her in church, and he brought from his stores a French lace 
veil, in which he had invested when he gave _ his heart to 
Valerie. When bought, he had not dared to present it, 
without an offer of himself also ; so he had kept it, with 
many tender thoughts of how Valerie would have looked 
through its cobweb texture, till the features of Valerie were 
seen .through a mental mist, and then faded away into in- 
distinctness altogether. Now, it was carefully arranged over 
Sabina's bonnet when she went out, with an injunction that 
it was not to be raised on any pretext. Compelled to con- 
template the intricacies of the beautiful flowers and leaves, 
with all their curious entanglements, and wonderful variety 
of stitches, Sabina's mind stored away all the intricacies of 
the threads, and on Mondays used to copy them in imita- 
tion lace on net. Her uncle had forced the nose of the 
horse to the water, and fancied that she swallowed ; whilst 
he compelled his niece to the outward appearance of intense 
devotion and reverence in the house of God, and hoped 
that she had become religious consequently — Sabina took a 
malicious pleasure in the occupation she had made for 
herself, to relieve the monotony of the long church service. 
She little knew the envy she excited from the possession 



Sab i net. 87 

of that old yellow lace veil, in the minds of the young ladies 
at Miss Wise's school. Straw plaits were common in Corn- 
wall then, and Sabina had selected her straws, plaited them, 
and made them up into a round hat ; two yards of ribbon 
sufficed for its trimming, and the square lace veil thrown 
over it was kept by the brim at a sufficient distance from 
Sabina's beautiful face and luxuriant hair to allow them fair 
play. The veil was handsome, and gave a look of elegance 
to the light-coloured gingham tight dresses which Sabina 
generally wore, and which Susan delighted to wash and 
iron, so as to do credit to Mr. Rock and to her young lady. 
Poor girl ! she had not her uncle's strength of mind : she 
was naturally fond of dress, and extravagant, nor had she 
her uncle's strong perception of pecuniary obligation. Her 
dress was very poverty stricken. Miss Wise, who deeply 
resented that Miss Rock had never been sent for education 
to her establishment, could not help revealing her anger 
and vexation at having been deprived of a pupil so brilliant 
as Sabina. 

" What that old man can mean, Mem," she said to her 
assistant one day, " I cannot divine. What good he can 
ever expect that gel to come to, I have no means of judg- 
ing. But a gel brought up from the age of ten to fifteen, by 
an old ship lieutenant and a servant maid, cannot be fit for 
decent young ladies to associate with. I should not wonder 
if she damned and swore dreadful." 

" Oh ! shocking ! " said the assistant. " Did you hear 
her, Mem ? " 

<: N — o; I can't say that: but I've good authority for 
thinking so." 

'■' Awful ! " rejoined the toady. 

On several occasions Mr. Temple had asked Sabina to 
come and take parts in singing with his other pupils, at the 
Town Hall. Sabina was glad of the amusement, for she 
gave no labour, but that of love, to her study of music. The 
room was long — so long ! — built for those interminable 
country dances, which delighted our sober ancestors. The 
music-stands were placed at the upper end : the door was 
at the opposite extremity. The person who entered was 
seen, not only in reality, but reflected in a large looking- 
glass which ornamented the end of the saloon. Sabina, who 



88 Sab ina. 

could not always enter the room first, Haven House being 
at a much greater distance than the homes of the other 
pupils, had the misery of walking up the immense room, a 
victim to all the malicious sneers of the girls whom she sur- 
passed in beauty and accomplishments, but to whom she was 
immeasurably inferior in dress. 

She never could be rendered a tidy girl. If made so by 
Susan, she fell to pieces, and relapsed into slovenliness at 
the shortest notice. She felt her disgrace painfully ; but for- 
got it when it was past, or remembered it so slightly that 
she never remedied the causes. Tis true, her poor little 
feet were worn by the often-darned stockings, where little 
of the original woof was visible; but it was Susan's im- 
perfect sight which had guided the darning needle, and 
the work was bodged. Too old, too small, even for her 
slight dimensions, were all her clothes ; so when she walked 
up the long assembly-room, her frocks were too short, 
her darned stockings were visible, and her old shoes rather 
down and twisted at her heels, and patched at the toes, 
were observed by all the scoffing pupils of Miss Wise's 
establishment ; the outer covering was a blue pelisse ; 
navy blue, her uncle had ordered. She had outgrown it ; 
the sleeves did not reach the wrists ; it was strained across 
her beautifully rounded bosom, because it had fitted her 
when she was twelve years old ; and the band of blue 
cloth had been pinned and repinned, and strained to 
coax it to meet, till the texture would scarcely retain the 
pins. Her uncle thought her beautiful, any way. I am 
not sure he disliked the look of the strained broad cloth. 
He did not wish to think of her as a woman ; she was so 
small, so young, so much his own property. He, to whom 
poverty had denied all the sweet converse of wedded life, had 
had this child forced upon him, and had learnt to pour 
out the repressed feelings of his loving heart on her ; the 
more violent and intense, as it was the first object on 
which they had been lavished. And Sabina loved her 
uncle at length. During the five years they had passed 
together, Mr. Rock had been seriously ill on two or three 
occasions; then Sabina had been ever tender, anxious, 
and watchful of her uncle; bearing with his impatience, 
soothing his irritability, becoming neat-handed in her sick 



Sabina. 89 

cookery, to minister to his comfort. These illnesses had 
been the occasion of an increasing load of vexation to 
Sabina. On one occasion, Mr. Rock was ordered to eat 
asparagus ; it was too early for any not raised artificially ; 
but Sabina had directed the greengrocer to procure some, 
not dreaming that what she obtained was fifteen shillings 
a bundle. I must not give my heroine too much credit. 
That greengrocer's shop presented temptations which the 
young lady did not resist, though she might have done 
so. Ruddy-cheeked apples, with opposite sides of bright 
yellow, tempted her as one had tempted our general mother. 
The greengrocer's bill was a heavy one, and Sabina could 
not pay it. She entreated for time, with a face that flushed 
and turned pale alternately ; and the shopkeeper gave it, 
and promised not to send the bill in to Mr. Rock, who 
had been persuaded by Sabina that she had obtained the 
vegetables through the good nature of the gardener at 
Tregear. Had her uncle known of this fraud on him, 
how furious he would have been at the deceit, how 
broken-hearted at the untruth, how overwhelmed at the 
amount of the debt, and at the length of time which it had 
been allowed to run ! 

About this time he had a recurrence of his attack. Luckily 
asparagus was comparatively cheap, and for the fresh 
supply Sabina contrived to pay. He would take no 
nourishment which he did not believe to be obtained on 
terms so reasonable that the bills could be paid weekly. 

" A man is not bound to remain in the world at the 
expense of his neighbours," he would say. " He may send 
round his hat, and beg for charity to support him, if he 
thinks life so purchased to be worth possession. I do 
not. But such a course would be much less dishonest 
than dying insolvent." 

Now Sabina had begun to love her uncle eo soon as 
she had begun to pity him; true, her attachment to him 
was weak compared to that which he felt for her. But 
where is the young person who ever returns in equal de- 
gree the love of his guardian or parent? It seems pro- 
vidential that love should descend rather than ascend, that 
the young should be cared for rather than those " whose 
feet stumble in the dark uncertainty of age." 




CHAPTER XI. 

" Begin ! e'en age itself is cheer'd by music : 
It wakes a glad remembrance of our youth, 
Calls back past joys and warms us into transport." 

Rowe's " Fair Penitent.''' 

jjT was not easy for Sabina to find amusement for her 
patient, when she had finished reading the paper 
to her uncle, and the boy had carried it away. 
Chess was not to be thought of till the evening, or 
those hours would have been without zest, and Mr. Rock's 
amusement of dragging a heavy garden-roller up and down 
the gravel walk of the parade just opposite his house, for the 
purpose of obliterating the marks made by women's pattens 
and men's heavy tread, could not be attempted in 'the face 
of the doctor's prohibition. Had the exercise been possible 
at the back of his house, he would have risked it, in the con- 
viction that he should not be seen by his doctor ; but he did 
not care to receive the consequent "jaw," as he termed it in 
his' sailor phraseology. So, after sitting silently for some 
time, and seeing Sabina quietly working by his side, he 
reiterated the frequent question, — 
"Well, have you nothing to tell me?" 
This query always made Sabina silent, it seemed so im- 
possible to answer. She had been told to amuse her uncle, 
but not to agitate or interest him too much. She did not 
care for the small events of Deepindale, and knew not how a 
sick person, incapable of self-amusement, takes interest in 
circumstances the most trivial, and which would in health 
excite no notice. 



Sabiua. 9 1 

Mr. Rock, sitting over his fire, made a great circumstance 
of every shovel of coals he put on, and every accumulation 
of cinders he threw over them. Before Sabina found this 
out, she had rudely driven the poker into the dark heap, and 
upset both the fire and her uncle's temper. 

Now she tried to think of something to amuse him. 

" Uncle, do you know the townsfolk here are going to 
get up a concert ? " 

" A concert ? " 

"Yes, of amateurs, for the benefit of the Cornwall In- 
firmary." 

" How do you know ? You never tell me anything." 

" I did not know you would care. I only heard it last 
evening. Mr. Temple whispered it to me as I was putting 
by the music-books in the organ loft, and he asked me if I 
were going to take a part. I said I had not been asked, and 
he wondered how they could manage without me." 

Mr. Rock flushed, and Sabina repented of her repeated 
observation. 

"Who are the performers?" he asked, in a constrained 
tone. 

" Oh, I believe Mr. Temple will perform a sonata on 
the violoncello, with the accompaniment of two violins 
played by those musicians who used to accompany me. 
Mr. Dent, the doctor, will play an air and variations on the 
flute." 

" Puppy ! How can he attend to his patients when he is 
practising such nonsense ? " 

" Then they are to sing songs in different parts," Sabina 
went on, without regarding the query which she could not 
answer. 

"Who is to take the female voice — the treble?" 

" I suppose Miss Cressy ; she has the best ear, and a very 
good voice." 

" Nothing to compare to yours. Why have you not been 
asked, pray?" 

" I do not know, uncle." 

" I do know. They are jealous of you." 

Sabina laughed gaily, and just touched her uncle's white 
brow with her lips. She had learned to love that venerable 
head, and to admire those black beady eyes — alas ! no 



92 Sabina. 

longer so deep in colour as in the days when he had 
threatened her with his cane. 

" Never mind them, dear. I don't want to sing at their 
concert." And the uncle was consoled to think that his 
darling had not set her heart upon it. 

But Sabina had occasion for all her philosophy, for rumours 
of a dissolution of Parliament disturbed the even tenor of 
Deepindale life ; rumours followed by the fact. The family 
returned to the banishment of Tregear, as Lady Sarah called 
it, and took credit to herself for the sacrifice of personal 
comfort she made in coming to the end of the world for the 
benefit of her favourite son. Committee rooms were taken 
for the rival candidates at the Whig and Tory hotels, or 
rather public houses, dignified for the time with a grander 
title, and all the tradesmen and professions were on the qui 
vive with excitement. 

" Would the usual ^20 rise to ^30 this time ?" was the 
momentous question that made their hearts beat faster at the 
thought. 

Mr. Dent, the apothecary, had a tolerable voice, and had 
been getting up "The Curfew" and "Blow, Breezes, Blow," 
with Mr. Grinde, the attorney, and Miss Cressy, the fruiterer's 
daughter. True, she was not considered " quite genteel," by 
the female relatives of the professional gentleman, but in voice 
no one could equal her, except Sabina, who was shut out of 
the whole affair, for she had never been one of Miss Wise's 
young ladies, and those fair creatures had spiteful and ex- 
clusive feelings, grown with their growth, and strengthened 
with their strength, and they expended on Sabina more than 
her full share. Whenever now in the evenings pedestrians 
passed the closed window-shutters of Mr. Dent's house, they 
heard, " Look, look, again ! " or " Hark ! a signal ! " whilst 
little girls in ragged shawls knocked in vain at the surgery 
door for "grandmother's pills" or " baby's powders." Miss 
Cressy did not mind stepping in on these occasions, and sang 
like a syren — all the more as Mr. Grinde, the attorney, who 
sang bass, was a widower, and likely to marry again, and 
Mrs. Dent was a fat, good-natured lady, who did not dislike 
the glass of hot brandy-and-water with which the social even- 
ings concluded. Not having any children, and having been 
herself the daughter of a cheesemonger, she saw no particular 



Sabina. 93 

want of gentility in Miss Cressy, and felt rather strongly the 
feminine desire to make up a match. 

Lady Sarah and Mr. Tresillian, and the rest of the party 
at Tregear, had been asked to patronise the concert, and had 
graciously engaged two front rows of reserved seats. Saturday 
arrived ; the concert was fixed for the following Thursday. 
The evening practising grew faster and hotter. It seemed 
likely that the singers would sing themselves hoarse before 
the appointed night arrived. They had each studied their 
parts for six weeks with the most anxious industry. The 
musical infection spread from house to house. Maid ser 
vants trundled their mops to " The bells have been rung," 
and butcher-boys sang scraps of " O'er the dewy green." But, 
alas ! on Saturday evening, when Miss Cressy should have 
entered the hospitable house of Mr. Dent, she appeared not, 
but sent a messenger instead, to say she had a headache, 
and feared she could not attend the rehearsal. 

"Dear me, Mr. Dent, what can be amiss? That girl 
never has headaches ; she's as healthy as a dairy-maid," said 
Mrs. Dent, who thought herself not entitled to her hot drink, 
unless she had company. 

" I fear, my love," replied her husband, " that I can hardly 
step over to inquire — not etiquette, you see." 

" Etiquette ! fiddle ! " cried the lady, and carried her point 
in making her husband call on the invalid. 

He obtained no satisfaction. Mrs. Cressy said her daughter 
was gone to bed with a 'eadache ; had eaten too much boiled 
pork and cabbage. Mrs. Cressy was of opinion that she 
would be all right to-morrow. Next day, anxious eyes were 
turned to the pew in which Miss Cressy ought to have been, 
but in which was only the cozy figure of her mother. The 
musical aspirants bustled out after her with their inquiries. 

" 'Melia has a bad cold, that's all ; she'll be all right to- 
morrow." But on Sunday evening 'Melia's papa called him- 
self on Mr. Dent, and should be obliged if he would look in 
on 'Melia. 

'Melia was found by Mr. Dent to be in a high fever, which 
would have given him a pleasant hope of a job at any other 
time, but which now filled him with frightful apprehensions 
about the fate of his trio. 

"That's the dickens," said this elegant gentleman, "of 



94 Sabina. 

not standing on one's own bottom. There are three legs to 
a trio as it were, and now one leg is taken away, down go 
the other two — -smash ! Perhaps she may be well enough, 

but if she be , I'll paint my Galen's head into a likeness 

of Grimaldi." Then he turned about in his mind whether 
another leg might not be found to support the tottering trio. 
There was no one but Miss Rock capable of taking those 
parts in the trio and quartettes so carefully studied ; and she 
had not been asked to take any part in the exhibition of 
native talent, and might probably refuse to assist them at the 
eleventh hour. " It don't matter for Temple, and those 
fellows with their concerted pieces, and as for ' The Soldier 
Tired,' that might be cut out altogether ; but to deprive us 
of our trios, and of the 'Red Cross Knight,' and who the 
devil but Miss Cressy or Miss Rock could hold those high 
F's and G's ! " 

He went to Mr. Grinde and found that gentleman just as 
indignant with Miss Cressy for her ill-timed indisposition, as 
he was himself. In fact rather more so, for inasmuch as 
Mr. Dent might draw consolation from the probable length 
of his bill, no such happiness could be in store for the 
lawyer. 

" A greedy creature ! with her boiled pork and cabbage ! " 
said the unsentimental admirer. 

" I'm not sure it was the pork and cabbage," rejoined the 
apothecary, meditating. " Had it been so, there are means 
— but I need not enter into details to an unprofessional 
gent." 

" I tell you what you must do ; you are attending old 
Rock occasionally " 

" Old fellow very close ; will have particulars entered in 
my accounts. There is really nothing to be made of people 
who do that. It don't pay me to lose my time in dancing 
attendance on a veteran with a heart disease and no money 
to spare." 

" No doubt ; but you must call now, and gammon him 
into telling Miss Rock to sing with us. He's a stingy one. 
'Tis my belief that he has made his will out of a printed 
form, and never came to me as any other gentleman would." 

Mr. Dent, though anxious for Miss Rock's services, did 
not like the commission. All the women hated Miss E.ock. 



Sabina. 95 

What a hornet's nest he should bring around him for asking 
her. 

'• I'll just see to-morrow morning how 'Melia Cressy is," he 
determined, before he concluded his conversation with his 
friend. " The concert will be as dull as ditchwater without 
our trios and quartette," mused he. 

He called at an early hour next morning, so early that 
Mrs. Cressy was provoked that 'Melia's room had not been 
tidied, nor her face washed and hair arranged under a clean 
night-cap. He came, he saw, and turned pale. There were 
unmistakable signs in the flushed face, of mischief under 
the skin, and he knew she would throw out the irruption 
of scarlet fever before many hours were over. He com- 
municated this intelligence to her parents as he left the 
sick room. 

They were much disturbed, but the instinct of maternal 
vanity rose over her feeling of alarm. " Of course, Mr. 
Dent, you and the other gentlemen, as are going to perform, 
will put off the concert till 'Melia is better." 

This was uttered as the door was about to close on the 
retreating apothecary, and overwhelmed, him with confusion. 
Luckily he was not compelled to answer, as Mrs. Cressy 
seemingly thought the matter settled. "What can I do?" 
thought the poor man. " To be sure, the family are a good 
ten pounds a year to me, and they may send for Thomson 
if I offend them. But then, this concert may bring me 
into notice with the Tregear family, and be one hundred 
pounds a year good money to me, when they stay for two 
or three months here. Children, servants, and all. Why, 
there's twenty-six servants alone ! a colony ! " Mr. Dent 
did not consider that the arrival of the family depended on 
the number of contested elections ; but the crow in the 
fable points a moral in vain to most people, and there was 
as much ambition as love of money in his meditations. He 
called again on his friend Grinde, and the result was that 
they went together to the house of Mr. Rock, whom they 
found at home, and by a little skilful flattery they obtained 
his consent that Sabina should take Miss Cressy's part in 
the forthcoming concert. " Bless you ! " said her uncle, 
proudly, " she can sing 'The Soldier Tired' if you desire it, 
and all the other parts at sight; you need only alter the 



96 Sabina. 

name in the bills from Cressy to Rock." Sabina came in 
before the visitors left, and though pleased, she was some- 
what overwhelmed by the consent her uncle had given. 

He grew angry at seeing her blushes and hesitation. " Do 
you mean to say you can't sing the songs they require ? " he 
said, angrily, whilst the musicians, who had no doubt of her 
powers, felt astonishment at her seeming reluctance. 

"Yes, uncle,— oh ! — certainly, — I can sing them." 

"Very well, then, what the devil do you hesitate about? 
sing your best ! " The flush on her face deepened painfully, 
but she said nothing. 

" Very well, gentlemen, — you may depend on my niece 
for Thursday evening." And they withdrew. 

"What do you mean, Miss Rock, by this behaviour? 
Why should you be so reluctant to please me ? I, who have 
brought you up for more than five years, have some right to 
your services, I suppose." 

" It is not that," said Sabina, with tears of mortification. 
" But I — I — 've no evening dress." 

" Go in a morning one, then," said her uncle, who could 
not enter into the vexation of the young girl. Yet, had 
Lieutenant Rock ever succeeded to the command of a 
vessel which lacked the proper amount of paint and gilding, 
he would have been a miserable man could he not have 
procured the means of paying for them. 

Sabina was silent ; visions of a clear white muslin dress 
floated before her — only is. or is. 2d. a yard at the most. 
Mr. Milford, the draper, would give her credit. Her uncle 
was so particular in his payments that the tradespeople 
would have given the girl any amount of reasonable time to 
liquidate her debts. " There is Mr. Cressy's bill," thought 
Sabina. " I dare say he has forgotten it. It can't matter if 
I have another with Mr. Milford. I might have my white 
muslin, and make it up myself in my room, or whilst uncle 
dozes by the fire. He never attends to women's work, and 
when I go to the concert, I shall be covered over with a 
large cloak, so that he will not find it out." 

The thought of finding Lady Sarah again was an unmixed 
pleasure. About Mr. Tresillian Sabina was not so sure. 
With her present shy sensations of nascent womanhood, 
she felt ashamed of having clung round his neck, and 



Sabina. 



97 



begged him to take her to live with him. She felt as if her 
cheeks would tingle with shame when she saw him again. 
In vain she repeated to herself, " I was but a child, I was 
but ten years old then." She could not lose her identity, 
and felt very guilty of forwardness as she lived over her 
past acts. 

Sabina made her dress — the first low dress she had ever 
had. The mantua maker kindly cut out the pattern of the 
body, and that had been Sabina's only difficulty. She tried 
it on one evening before the glass — that tiny glass, in which 
Susan for years had arranged the bow on the top of her 
cap, which was denuded in several places [of quicksilver, 
and had lost one side of its frame ; but with all these draw- 
backs she thought herself very beautiful, and she had good 
reason for her conviction. That evening she went to par- 
take of the tea and toast with which Mrs. Dent provided 
her, instead of the absent Miss Cressy, and made her hearers 
thrill by the power of her voice and the brilliancy of her 
execution in " The Soldier Tired." In the meantime, whilst 
her voice rang even through the quiet street, nothwithstanding 
the closed shutters, passengers crowded round to listen, and 
the fame thereof reached the shop of the greengrocer and 
fruiterer, Mr. Cressy ; in fact, his errand boy, having taken 
half-a-dozen oranges to a sick lady in the evening, came in 
open-mouthed at the wonderful singing outside Mr. Dent's 
windows — a young lady was singing " But should the 
Trumpets," just like Miss 'Melia used, ; only. a. good bit 
louder. 

Air. and Mrs. Cressy heard and swelled with anger. 
"That's what they're up to — taking the songs out of my 
child's mouth, as it were. Sam, if you're a man, you won't 
stand it." 

•'Why? What can I do?" 

" You're a fool to be bamboozled by that girl, and she 
owing you seven pounds ten shillings and ninepence-half- 
penny." 

" I'm not bamboozled. She asked me, quite pretty like, 
to let it stand a bit, and so I did." 

" Pretty, indeed ! Handsome is that handsome does, say 
I. That account have stood over this two year." 

" Well ! " meekly — " what would you have me do ? " 
7 



98 Sabiua. 

" Go to her to-morrow, and tell her that if she choose to 
put our 'Melia's nose out of joint by singing her songs, she 
must pay her bill, or else you will send the account in to 
her uncle. That will frighten the young lady, I warrant me, 
for he's an old Turk, and will lead her a pretty life. Young 
ladies who can't pay for fruit should not eat it, I say." 

"Twas most for sparagrass when her uncle was ill," sug- 
gested her husband, apologetically. 

" A pack of nonsense ! I suppose the apples were for 
her uncle, too, and he never a tooth to bite them with 
except false ones." 

The result of the matrimonial conversation was that Mr. 
Cressy, all the more roughly because he did not like his oc- 
cupation, came up to Mr. Rock's house, and, luckily for 
Sabina, encountered her at the door before he knocked. In a 
few hurried and insolent words — more insolent because he 
had had to force them — he informed her that if she wanted 
to take 'Melia's part at the concert, she must first pay his 
old account. 

"Very well," she said, taking the " bill delivered," and 
walking on to get out of his way — " I will let you know." 

She walked on without looking back, conscious that he 
was watching her, as if he could guess from her gait the 
effect of his threat. Her face seemed in a flame. What 
could she do ? Confess all to her uncle — ah ! Those 
accursed apples ! How could she eat so many ? She knew 
that she had told untruths about the asparagus, and her 
uncle's memory was unpleasantly tenacious ; moreover, she 
knew her uncle could not pay the money without leaving 
himself penniless. She wished Lady Sarah would give her 
another twenty pounds without Mr. Rock's finding it out ; 
but 'twas useless to wish. She walked on faster and faster 
as if to get away from her thoughts ; she came to where the 
plantations of Tregear fringed each side of the road, and 
the idea of repose and coolness came with the recollection 
of those solemn giant trees. Further in there was a small 
gate leading into one side of the estate, and Sabina climbed 
over it by the help of some overhanging branches, and 
sprang down on the soft mossy bed beneath her. They 
would not miss her for a couple of hours. She might re- 
main there, and be miserable at her leisure for some time to 



Sabina. 



99 



come. She would get farther into the covert, she thought, 
away from any people who might catch a glimpse of her 
light lilac gingham dress through the trees. On and on she 
went, stumbling through fern and wild flowers, and startling 
troops of timid deer with her reckless steps. At length she 
sank down at the foot of a beech tree, and leaned her head 
against its trunk, her dark hair conspicuous from its opposi- 
tion with the silver gray of the bark. 




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CHAPTER XII. 

" Ordinary expense ought to be limited by a man's estate, and ordered to the 
best, that the bills may be less than the estimation abroad."-— -Bacon. 

jjT length Sabina took the objectionable enclosure 
from her pocket. Mr. Cressy had repeated all 
the items with praiseworthy scrupulousness, in- 
tending that Mr. Rock should himself judge of 
the extent of the greengrocer's wrongs, should no money be 
forthcoming. The impression on his mind was that Sabina 
would make some excuse for not singing, and the concert 
be put off in consequence. That no doubt of the intention 
should remain in Sabina's mind, Mrs. Cressy had ac- 
companied the bill with a note, slipped into the cover un- 
known to her husband, putting the matter, as. she thought, 
in a fair light, as she doubted whether her husband would 
speak plainly to one so "pretty-spoken " as Miss Rock. Mr. 
Cressy had no rancour against Mr. Rock, and would not 
willingly have pressed him for the money ; but 'Melia's 
interests were paramount to everything else. Sabina was 
a stupid accountant. Her uncle had tried to teach her ; 
but as he began by the rule of three, somewhat as he had 
insisted on her learning the Zauberflote, and utterly ignored 
the first three rules of arithmetic, which he believed she knew, 
and her ignorance of which she was ashamed to confess, the 
lesson always ended by tears on one side and ill-temper on 
the other. Sabina wondered at her own stupidity. Why 
should she have been made so stupid ? " It was dreadful," 
her uncle said, and she quite believed him, and ran to the 
piano and practised the brilliant passages in " Jubal's Lyre," 



Sab i/ict. 101 

or " Let the bright seraphim." There was no doubt of her suc- 
cess in music. Now she leaned her head on her hand, and 
tried to pick out all the charges for apples sprinkled through 
the greengrocer's bill — \d., 2d., Sd., repeatedly, such small 
sums, yet so large in the aggregate. She puzzled over the 
division of the articles, and could only try to obtain informa- 
tion by counting on her fingers. She grew more and more 
perplexed and disheartened, and began to weep bitterly. 
She had so wanted to go to the concert, to exhibit herself 
in her new muslin dress, to be recognised by Lady Sarah, 
and to show her how much her voice had improved ; and now 
— her uncle, too — he was determined that she should sing, 
■ — should she take to her bed and say she had a cold ? 
That horrid Mr. Dent would insist on seeing her, and de- 
clare that nothing was the matter. It was most perplexing 
every way. 

At some considerable distance from where Sabina was 
seated there was a garden-house, which Mr. Tresillian had 
had built when he was a boy, in imitation of Robinson 
Crusoe's hut. It was " bosomed high 'midst tufted trees," 
and approached by a ladder, which Mr. Tresillian drew 
up when he feared the approach of anyone whom he did 
not wish to see. By a good opera glass he could com- 
mand the road which led to Tregear, and if anyone ap- 
proached whom it was his interest to see, he went up to 
the mansion to receive them ; if not, he Avas " out," and it 
was not known when he would return. Strict orders were 
always given that he should never be disturbed by any 
messenger in this retreat. 

He was, on this warm September afternoon, smoking his 
cigar, and looking listlessly through the window of his 
castle, and thinking of Cowper's lines dinned into his 
juvenile ears by his governess : — 

" 'Tis pleasant through the loopholes of retreat 
To gaze on such a world.'' 

" Not at all unpleasant after all the fadeur of a London 
season, particularly if one has a good cigar from Beynon and 
Stockens. 'Tis a comfort to get out of the way of all those 
girls ! The demireps trying to possess one's purse, the 
model ones trying to secure both purse and name ! 



102 Sabina. 

" Who is this coming along ? Skimming along, I may 
say. Something small and bright. Ah ! she stops at the 
little gate. No go, my dear ! Locked ! Well done ! I 
declare 'tis well the turf is soft there, or you would jar those 
small feet and ankles of yours." 

He watched her hurried scramble through the plantation, 
and saw her seat herself under one of the beech trees. 

" What will she do now ? I wish I could see her face. 
Oh ! there goes her hat thrown off, and her hair tossed 
back. She seems to be very beautiful. I wonder where I 
have ever seen anyone like her ! What's this ? Oh ! a letter ! 
Yes, a love letter ! Of course from some rustic in the neigh- 
bourhood, containing the regular poesy, — 

' When this you see remember me, 
Though many miles I distant be.' 

How she studies it ! Can't make it out, seemingly ! Bless 
me ! there comes her pocket-handkerchief — crying ! Poor 
little head ! What's it all about, I wonder — a faithless 
lover ? Yet she is very young-looking for a love affair ; but 
of course girls never cry except from what they call outraged 
feelings. Poor devils ! I suppose they do suffer some- 
times ; " and an unpleasant recollection or two intruded 
itself on his usually complacent mind. " She's going to get 
up. There she is ! upright, very beautiful, — wonderfully so 
for so small a creature. Yes, she ties on her hat, and de- 
parts. My eyes are beginning to ache. There ! she has 
dropped her letter ; she does not perceive it, and is making 
her way back to the gate. Ha ! ha ! my pretty dear ; you 
won't find it so easy to get out as to get m—facilis descensus 
— sed revocare gradum — I'll go down, pick up the letter, 
and introduce myself with that bit of civility." 

Poor Sabina walked along with her head depressed, and 
with slow footsteps. She was in no hurry to get home with 
such black care awaiting her on the threshold. When, a 
year and a half before, she had received this dreadful bill, 
she had tried to sell her mother's small number of orna- 
ments — a brooch or two, and three small Lisbon chains, one 
of which she had worn round her neck, and the other two 
as bracelets. 

With the exaggerated idea of value, which generally 



Sabina. 103 

grows year by year upon the conviction of those pos- 
sessed of such trifles, she had believed that, could she 
make up her mind to the sacrifice, she should get at least 
twenty pounds for her little treasure ; but, alas ! when offered 
to the best jeweller in Bodmin, to whom Sabina sent them 
with a little note, fifteen shillings was the utmost offered for 
them. She could not give up her mother's trinkets for a 
sum so inadequate, and they still remained in her little box. 
Should she take them to Mr. Cressy and beg him to pur- 
chase them for his daughter ? She thought of that disagree- 
able girl decked in her mother's property, and cried with 
vexation ; besides, the Cressys might refuse to purchase, and 
scoff at her for the proposition. 

In the meantime she thought she would look at the letter 
again. She might not find it so insolent on a second read- 
ing. 

She felt in her pocket but 'twas not there. She must 
have left it under the tree where she had been seated ; but 
the whole plantation was of giant beech trees, and they 
were puzzlingly alike. It was easy enough for Mr. Tresillian, 
who knew every undulation of the woodland, to mark the 
one under which he had seen Sabina, and to detect the spot 
of white made by the folded letter ; but as the broad trunk 
interposed between the girl and her lost property, she had 
nothing but her footprints to guide her back, and the pres- 
sure of those were soon filled up by the spongy moss. 

In the meantime Mr. Tresillian reached and possessed 
himself of the letter. 

" Miss Rock ! Rock ! " he exclaimed, meditating. " That's 
the name of one of my voters. I have it. The old half- 
pay lieutenant, and Miss Rock must be that child, sprung up 
into a beautiful girl ; she promised to be pretty. By Jove ! 
and she has a lover already. How old can she be — fifteen ? 
sixteen ? — not even that, I should think ; she wasn't more 
than nine or ten at the last election." 

He held the letter, and looked at the address. Some 
fellow of a clerk, by the handwriting. He paused a mo- 
ment with a pang of reluctant honour, and then opened and 
read the letter and the bill. 

" Poor little devil ! This is what she was crying about, 
then. Let us see again what this elegant epistle means. 



J04 Sabina. 



" ' To Miss Rock, Haven House. 

" ' Madam — We are honest tradesfolk^, and don't set up 
for ladies and gents, as some folks do as hasn't two sixpences 
to rub one against the other ; but folks must live, and can't 
noways afford to throw away their money in bad debts. 
So, Miss, I hope you will not find it ill convenient to pay 
our small account as has been a running now this two year. 

" ' I consider you've behaved very shabby in putting my 
'Melia out of the concert and she so ill, poor lamb ! that she 
can't speak for herself. I may say that if you did not put 
yourself so forread, and the concert was give up for 
want of a fine voice, like my daughter's, Mr. Cressy might 
be worked upon not to press Mr. Rock for his money, 
always wishing you to understand, Miss, that if folks want 
dainties they should go without if they haven't the money 
to pay for them ; and I am your humble servant to com- 
mand, 

" ' Winnifred Cressy.' " 

" Asparagus ! fifteen shillings a bundle ! " said Mr. Tre- 
sillian. " What an extravagance ! I thought Mr. Rock 
was so economical. Apples ! Ah ! ah ! my little girl ! You 
are fond of forbidden fruit seemingly — we shall see," and he 
walked swiftly to the place where Sabina was hunting for the 
letter. 

She heard the rustling of the dried fern, and saw a gen- 
tleman coming towards her. She knew her dress was poor- 
looking, and her eyes were suffused with tears. She began to 
walk as fast as she could towards the little gate at the 
termination of the plantation, and then in her anxiety the 
walk became a run. Mr. Tresillian did not hurry himself ; 
he was tranquilly triumphant with the conviction that 
Sabina must bring herself up at the gate, which was not 
easy to climb from the road, but nearly impossible from 
the side of the plantation. 

Reader ! have you never seen an unfortunate cat pursued 
by a large dog make its way to a sheltering window 
generally left open, but having her retreat cut off by find- 
ing it closed, she turns despairingly to begin the unequal 
battle that can have but one termination? Thus Sabina, 
after shaking the gate with a last vain effort, did not at- 



Sabina. 105 

tempt to scale it, but turned and waited the approach of 
the enemy. 

AVhy did she not make the effort ? Mr. Tresillian thought 
that she had a lingering desire to meet him, and had only 
fled to be pursued ; but the truth was, that had Sabina 
had the conviction that her dress was faultless, her hair in 
good order, and her cheeks not stained with tears, she 
would not have fled from the encounter ; and as for at- 
tempting to scale the gate, she was a good climber, and 
might have managed it, but she did not try because she 
had holes in her stockings, and shoes down at heel, and 
these she was ashamed to reveal in what might have been 
a futile attempt to escape. So she stood with a wild, 
hunted, anxious look in her eyes, panting for breath, and 
looking as if she should make a spring past him, and try 
to escape through the plantation ; but she was aware that 
she was ignorant of the locality, whilst he knew 

" Each bush and every alley green, 
Dingle and mossy dell in that wild wood." 

" What a beautiful wild animal ! " was Mr. Tresillian's 
thought. 

" What a wretch I must be looking ! " was Sabina's. 

He lifted his hat respectfully, as if in doubt, and then 
said, — 

" Is it possible that I have the chance of renewing an old 
acquaintance with a very young acquaintance ? Have I the 
honour of addressing Miss Rock ? Do not tell me that you 
have forgotten me, and that delightful evening when " 

"Oh!" sighed poor Sabina, " I remember it all!" and 
her face hung out a crimson ensign, which, flushing her clear 
brown skin, made her look infinitely lovely and helpless. 
She glanced up quickly in his face, intending to speak again, 
but saw such a pleased smile of triumph that she faltered in 
her request. " Could you — open this gate for me ? " 

He answered, — " I was once shut up by remaining too 
long in one of the parks, and the doorkeeper, instead of 
letting me out, kept on repeating, ' But why did you get in ? ' 
I feel so inclined to say, not only why did you get in, but 
how did you get in ? " 



106 Sabina. 

" I wanted to be quiet," replied Sabina, with a sigh, re- 
membering all her griefs, " and " — thinking she was about to 
confess something very indelicate — " and — I climbed over." 

" Why don't you climb back again, then ? Shall I assist 
you ? You know it would not be the first time." 

Sabina was silent. . " He is very ungenerous," she thought. 
" He is laughing at me ; but to me it is no laughing 
matter." 

"When I climb, I like to do it alone, Mr. Tresillian." 

" Wherefore ? I'm sure your ankles are faultless." 

Deeper and deeper was the flush on her face. Had it 
only been the ankles she would not have minded so 
much. 

" Have you not a key to the gate ? " 

" I have one at my Robinson Crusoe's Castle," replied 
he ; " if you will walk back with me, I will give it to you." 

" Thank you," she said, glad of a compromise. 

Oh, false Tresillian ! you knew the key of the gate was in 
your pocket all the time. 

As they walked along side by side, Sabina's quick eyes 
darted their brown rays from side to side. 

" Have you lost anything ? " said her companion, demurely. 

"Yes ; I have dropped a letter somewhere. I was sitting 
under a tree, and I cannot tell which tree it was, and these 
horrid trees are all alike." 

" Horrid trees ! What an epithet ! " 

" Oh, yes ! Don't criticise, please. They are very fine 
trees ; but just now I had rather they had some distinguish- 
ing mark." 

" I agree with you in thinking monotony tiresome." This 
fresh-looking little girl was very original, compared to the 
girls of the London season just concluded. " Might I inquire," 
said he, bending his graceful head towards her, and speaking 
low, " was it a love letter ? " 

"No." 

" Are you sure ? Because, as I live here, and you do not, 
I think I have more chance of finding it than you ; and if I 
do, I shall take the privilege of reading it, considering 
myself for the time in the position of your parent or 
guardian." 

" Oh, pray, do not ! " said Sabina, anxiously. 



Sabina. 107 

" Oh, then, it is a love-letter." 

Sabina was silent for a moment, and then said, — ■ 

" I never had a love letter in my life, nor any letter, till I 
had this one ; and that did not come properly, like other 
letters, through the post-office." 

" Then it was not a pleasant letter?" 

'• Very unpleasant." 

" I have unpleasant letters sometimes — asking for money." 

" Bills ? " suggested Sabina. 

" No-0-0. I generally pay my bills, like your uncle, who, 
I am told, always pays ready money." 

Sabina winced. 

" My unpleasant letters from people asking for money are 
generally disputed election accounts, or from people wanting 
a small ' consideration ' for votes they have given me." 

" Oh ! " said Sabina, who knew nothing of and cared 
nothing for this. 

" I am going to call on Mr. Rock to-morrow, to beg for 
the favour of his vote." 

" Oh ! " came again, but this time with an expression of 
terror, painful to witness. 

" Well, what is the matter ? Does your interest lie with 
the other candidate ? Do you not approve of your uncle 
voting for me ? " 

" It is not that," said Sabina, her voice going off in a little 
sob ; " but I wish you would not call. My uncle is sure to 
vote for you without your asking him." 

"I am afraid," said he, gravely, "I cannot omit paying 
that compliment to your uncle. You need not see me, if I 
am so disagreeable," he went on, pretending to be affronted. 

Sabina went on, not venturing to speak, but the tears rolled 
" down her innocent nose." 

"What is it?" Mr. Tresillian said, kindly, passing his 
arm round her waist, and Sabina turned towards him, and, 
leaning her head on his arm, sobbed aloud. 

" Poor little girl ! tell me your trouble. Do you hate your 
uncle as much as you used ? " 

" No ; I'm very fond of him ; but, oh ! I've done some- 
thing so very wrong, and I dare not tell him ; and — and I'm 
afraid that he will find it out if you call on him, because he 
will be sure to thank you for sending the asparagus." 



108 Sab ma. 

"Asparagus? Did I send any ? " 

" No, you did not, but — but I said you did." 

A little more cross-examination, and he elicited from his 
small companion the circumstances of the bill at the green- 
grocer's. 

" Surely Mr. Rock would not have been angry had you told 
him at once ? " 

"Yes, he would; for he always says, people are not bound 
to live, but they are bound not to become chargeable to their 
neighbours." * 

"A fine principle, very rarely acted on," said Mr. 
Tresillian, smiling. 

" And you see I told him an untruth, because I knew he 
would not eat the asparagus if he thought it was purchased, 
and I told him the gardener at Tregear had let me have it 
for him. He was very ill at the time, and believed it ; and 
if he sees you, he will be sure to mention it." 

" Is the bill only for asparagus?" inquired the gentleman. 

" No," reluctantly. " When I went to buy the asparagus 
I saw apples. I'm very fond of them, and I did not think 
they were so dear, and I owe for the apples and the 
asparagus." 

" Poor little darling ! " he said, and he stooped and looked 
in her flushed face, intending to kiss her ; but a new expres- 
sion of anger and terror came into her countenance. 

She withdrew herself from his circling arm, and walked on 
in silence. 

" You kissed me when we met last," said Mr. Tresillian. 

"When we met last? I was a child then," she said ; 
" though I confess I ought to have known better then : I do 
know better now," she added, quietly. 

" It shall be as you like, my child," replied Mr. Tresillian, 
who did not wish to alarm her. 

They reached the ladder which led to his Castle, as he 
called it. 

"Will you go up?" he said. "Stop till I ascend and 
steady the ladder." 

"Will you not go up and get the key of the gate by your- 
self?" 

But Mr. Tresillian insisted. 

He wanted to accustom her to coming to that secret 



Sal>i;nr. 109 

retreat, where more took place than was ever dreamt of at 
the mansion of Tregear. 

'•Let me go up first," said he, remembering divers pictures 
which had better have a cloth thrown over them before an 
innocent girl was introduced into the room. 

It took a few minutes to arrange these offensive paintings, 
which he did by taking them from their nails, and piling 
them under the sofa ; and then he brought the wild bird 
into his cage. She looked around her with wonder and 
curiosity. 





CHAPTER XIII. 

"Will you walk into my parlour? said the spider to the fly; 
'Tis the prettiest little parlour which ever you did spy ; 
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, 
And I've many and many a pretty thing to show you when 
you're there." — Mrs. Howitt. 

R. TRESILLIAN had provided everything likely to 
minister to his comfort or amusement in this re- 
treat. " Sit down there," he said, "whilst I look 
for the key ; " and Sabina sank down into what 
seemed a bed of down pillows covered with the richest of 
pink damasks. It was a large old-fashioned sofa, large 
enough to serve for a bed if necessary • the pillows had been 
added for modern luxury. "Ah ! that is a nice sofa, is it 
not ? " he said, pretending to be looking for the key. " It 
was too old-fashioned for Lady Sarah, and faded. So I had 
the down pillows covered to match it as much as possible, 
not that it does match in texture. Our forefathers managed 
to get better materials than we do." 

Lying on part of this couch was a richly-lined fur rug. A 
glass in one department of the octagon reflected the motley 
furniture of the room : boxing-gloves, foils, rapiers, fishing- 
tackle, hunting-whips, a double-barrel gun, and a large case 
of gunpowder. It was lettered "gunpowder," and Sabina 
repeated the word with a kind of awe. " Yes ! " he ob- 
served, smiling, " Lady Sarah will not permit it to be kept 
at the mansion house, lest we should be all blown to pieces." 
" But you ? " inquired Sabina, a little too anxiously, and 
colouring as she became aware of what her tone had con- 
veyed. 



Sabiua. 



in 



" Oh ! as for that ! " he said, laughing, " when life has 
become distasteful to me, I can retire here, like Sardanapalus, 
and set fire to the case, and be blown into air ; but where 
shall I find some slaves or wives ? Will you be one of my 
wives, and consent to be blown up with me ? " 

'• I wish you would find the key, or I shall be blown up 
without you," said Sabina. " Please to find it. I cannot bear 
to tell my uncle, and sailors are so particular to a minute." 

" But tell me what you think of my room ? " 

" Oh ! 'tis a nice room, very," said Sabina, fretfully ; " but 
I would give a great deal to be out of it." 

" Very well ! here is the key at last ; but now I want you 
to come back again to-morrow morning." 

"I don't think " 

" Oh, yes ; you will come, I know, if I ask you. Shall I 
go down on my knees ? " and he knelt on one knee, look- 
ing up in her face ; and Sabina arose from the sofa, blushing 
painfully. 

" I will tell you why you will come. I have something 
which belongs to you, and if you come, I will give it to you 
— a little needle-book which Lady Sarah gave you more than 
five years since. We left Tregear immediately after the 
election, and as I did not wish to vex my mother, I did not 
tell her that the book had been returned by your uncle. I 
locked it up in my desk till I should have an opportunity of 
giving it to you ; and in truth I forgot all about it, till I saw 
you again." 

Sabina's face beamed with pleasure at the chance of 
getting out of her difficulties so easily: "But," she added 
timidly, " could you not bring it with you when you call on 
my uncle ? " 

" I cannot call on him to-morrow," said Mr. Tresillian, 
" and from what you told me, I fancied you would be glad 
of the needle-book at once." 

" That is true. I will come. May I come early ? " 

"Yes, I will meet you here at ten o'clock. Now I will 
walk with you as far as the gate, and let you out." 

As Sabina passed the mirror she saw how common-look- 
ing and shabby, her [dress was, and how worn the shoes 
that were half-buried in the thick-piled Turkey carpet ; and 
she was depressed and humbled at the contrast drawn by 



ii2 Sabina. 

her fancy between the wealth of Mr. Tresillian's sitting-room, 
and the poverty of her uncle's home, and of her own habili- 
ments. Mr. Tresillian descended the ladder first, and turn- 
ing held out his arms to receive Sabina, who sprang into 
them to conceal her pedal deficiencies. She was small and 
light, and so beautiful that Mr. Tresillian might have been 
forgiven the half embrace which he gave her before she re- 
gained her feet. 

" I wonder if we shall find the letter," she said ; " but now 
I have told you all about it, I shall not care if you find it. 
Ah ! there it is ! " she exclaimed, bounding to a distant tree, 
at the foot of which Mr. Tresillian had deposited it, un- 
perceived, when they were walking towards his room. " Tis 
very strange — I thought I had looked under all those beech 
trees." 

She had no suspicion of the truth, however, but regarded 
anxiously the sky, to watch the downward progress of the 
sun. The thought that her uncle might be watching for her 
coming step, and disappointed at her non-arrival, made her 
silent and forgetful even of her companion. So she sped 
on with swift and unequal steps over the moss and broken 
ground, till Mr. Tresillian exclaimed, — ■ 

" At what a pace you go, Miss Rock ! one can hardly 
keep up with you. It is not much of a compliment to me 
that you should be so anxious to get rid of me." 

" Oh ! I never thought of wishing to get rid of you ; but I 
cannot bear to vex my uncle, and here is the gate at last," 
said she, with a sigh of relief. " Will you tell me what time 
I have to get home in ? " 

" It is now just five o'clock," replied Mr. Tresillian, con- 
sulting his watch. 

" What a beautiful little watch ! " 

" Should you like to have it ? " 

" No, thank you," said Sabina, flushing crimson ; and 
fancying her abrupt refusal had given a look of displeasure 
to Mr. Tresillian's handsome brow, she added, — 

" I should like to have it very much, of course, only my 
uncle says it is not right to take presents from anyone too 
valuable to be repaid by a gift of equal amount." 

" Then," rejoined he, " if you can give me a present of 
equal or greater value, you will take this in exchange ? " 



Sabina. 113 

" I may safely promise that," she replied, as Mr. Tresil- 
lian unlocked the gate. 

" Take the key," he said, " I can get another. I do not 
like you to climb over like a wicked shepherd or shepherdess 
into the fold." 

She thanked him and passed into the road. Mr. Tre- 
sillian watched her till some trees intervening shut her from 
his sight ; but she did not look back as he had hoped. 

'' She is too beautiful to be walking about on the high 
road alone," he thought ; and he retired to his retreat whence 
he could watch her onward progress. 

Arrived there, he saw a pedestrian following her. She 
seemed unconscious of it, or at any event she did not quicken 
her pace. The man came up with and addressed her. Mr. 
Tresillian saw the start Sabina gave, and that she was hurry- 
ing on faster. Presently she was running with surprising 
swiftness, pursued by the man who had accosted her, and a 
turn of the road hid them both from his sight. The aristo- 
cratic schoolboy, who, " confined to bounds," sees some 
ragged urchin climbing the tree in which is concealed the 
nest which he had set his heart on rifling — the sportsman 
who from a distant field observes on the First of September 
a trespasser putting up the covey he had marked down as 
his own — the epicure who sees the coveted slice of venison 
from " the alderman's walk," carried by a faithless footman 
to another — may feel aggravation ; but not to be cqmpared 
in amount to that which quickened the pulse and flushed 
the cheek of Mr. Tresillian, as he imagined the jeopardy of 
Sabina, that sweet wild rose-bud which he intended should 
grace his own button-hole, and felt that he could not possibly 
reach the spot in time to aid her. 

He remained watching from the window of his retreat, 
hoping that he might see some passengers going by, whose 
presence might be a protection to the young girl. As he 
gazed a funeral hymn rose on the evening air, and he saw 
one of those picturesque processions, so common at the 
period of my story in that remote country, where the dead 
are carried by the hands of mourners, not on their shoulders, 
and surrounded by women in their scarlet cloaks, singing 
their Wesleyan dirges for the departed. Amongst the crowd 
he marked the man dressed in a velveteen jacket,, worn by 
8 



H4 Sabina. 

the pursuer of Sabina, a handsome dissolute fellow, of about 
thirty-five years, one of the Tregear gamekeepers. " I'll 
trounce that fellow. What insolence ! " was his passing re- 
flection. 

When Sabina, hurrying and breathless, reached the corner 
of the street leading to Haven House, she stopped for a 
moment to smooth her hair, and retie the strings of her hat, 
that her uncle might not discover any disorder or confusion 
in her appearance. When in sight of the windows she saw 
her uncle's bald forehead pressed against the pane, and 
knew she was late. He met her at the door, holding up his 
chronometer. " Three minutes after your time ! " he ex- 
claimed. " Miss Rock, if you do this again, I'll make you 
think that all bags and hammocks are piped up." A threat 
of driving her to a verge of such distraction as may fill the 
minds of eight hundred seamen, who suddenly have to 
answer to their names on deck, each bearing the above-men- 
tioned articles, of which the bags lie in a heap, and cannot 
be found by their lawful possessors. 

Now, had Sabina returned in the depressed state of mind 
in which she had entered the Tregear plantation, she might 
have resented the half-playful, half-angry attack made by her 
uncle ; but she had an inward spring of joy which sparkled 
in her eyes, and expanded her pretty delicate mouth into 
smiles. The terror inspired by the insolent man who had 
followed her had passed away from her mind. She only 
thought that she was relieved from her difficulties, that she 
should be able to defy the Cressys, and sing at the concert, 
and be heard and admired by Tresillian and Lady Sarah, and 
that her pecuniary distress would throw no shadow on her 
uncle's life. She would have preferred " hanging, whipping, 
or pressing to death," to the task of confessing her want of 
truth, and what he would have called her want of honesty to 
her uncle. What deprivation the old man must have sub- 
mitted to, to make up that seven pounds odd shillings, had 
he known it ! and how deep would have been his sorrow at 
the cause. Sabina knew a woman who had been beaten to 
death by her husband, because she had spent four shillings 
and sixpence he had given her to pay for a lantern. How 
piteously the poor creature had entreated the tinman to give 
her a receipt, without being paid for it ! How wearily had 



Sabina. 115 

she besought the neighbours to club their sixpences to save 
her from her husband's vengeance in vain ! Sabina would 
have had no blows now to suffer from Mr. Rock, but she 
thought that she should have died of shame at the confession 
had she had it to make. 

She kissed his forehead, and made his tea, and as he 
drank it she ran to the piano and sang " The Hardy Tar," 
and the uncle's old hoarse voice joined in the refrain — 

" Then oh ! reward the hardy tar, 

Be mindful of his merit ; 
And when again you're plunged in war 

He'll show his daring spirit." 

' : Now sing what you are to perform at the concert," said 
Mr. Rock, proudly. 

'•There is only one single song, uncle, 'The Soldier 
Tired of War's Alarms.' " 

"Always soldiers ! Sailors are never duly honoured." 

" Oh ! uncle ! " 

"Why, child ; don't the fools at public dinners always give 
'The Army and Navy,' putting us after those rascally land- 
lubbers ? " 

" Perhaps 'tis because A being the first letter of the alpha- 
bet, it runs more trippingly off the tongue, than navy and 
army; vet in rank you know, uncle, there is no manner of 
doubt." 

" Well, well, child ! I don't know where England would 
be without her wooden walls. But surely you ought to 
practise your music a little." 

"Yes, uncle; when Mr. Orellan comes, I will go and 
join the rest of the performers at Mr. Dent's. 

The next morning she arose with the lark, though she 
could not carry out her intentions till the shops were open. 
In Deepindale, as in other remote country towns, shop- 
keepers are lazy from having few customers to make de- 
mands on their time, and so they lie in bed to increase their 
resemblance in their own opinion to gentry who are not 
obliged to get up sooner than they please. But at length 
the reluctant shutters were taken down, and Sabina fitted 
herself with a delicate pair of new boots, and some fine hose, 
such as had never adorned her pretty feet since the days 
when she had been her mother's darling. 
8—2 



1 1 6 Sabina. 

Then, when she had given her uncle his breakfast, having 
made the tea with the usual accuracy of measurement, and 
timed the period of its infusion in water, by Mr. Rock's 
chronometer, she got the newspaper, and having arranged 
her uncle comfortably in his easy chair, she told him that 
she was going out for a walk that fine morning, and might 
not be back till one o'clock. He must promise not to be 
anxious if she were three minutes late. He assented with- 
out reluctance. The little episode of the man who had 
addressed her she kept secret, lest she might be forbidden 
to walk out alone. She dressed herself in a clean gingham, 
tight-fitting morning dress, in which her daintyfigure appeared 
to the greatest advantage, and when she had shook out her 
glossy black curls, and pressed her light straw hat over them, 
ornamented as it was with some fresh blue ribbon, and 
given a glance of pride to the pretty new boots and clean 
white hose, she was well satisfied with the image reflected 
in the little three-cornered bit of glass which was an apology 
for a mirror, and had made, in its more palmy state, part of 
her uncle's shaving-glass. She was very happy, very young, 
too young to be so harassed by the load of debt ; but this 
seven pounds odd shillings owed to the fruiterer was a 
burden as heavy to the poor girl, as the mortgage which 
has eaten up the best half of the spendthrift's estate. 

She trod lightly along the road to Tregear. The autumn 
sun shone brightly, drawing up from the valleys wreaths of 
thin mist, the cobwebs glittered in its beams and gemmed 
the blackberry branches, which had been the first cause of 
Sabina's introduction to the family of Tregear. "An argu- 
ment for gluttony and recklessness ! " said Sabina, laughing 
as she tripped along the road. " Had I never picked those 
purple berries I should not have been threatened by Mr. 
Rock's stick, nor run away, nor have been picked up in my 
turn by Mr. Tresillian. How handsome he is ! " and she 
slackened her pace to think of his beauty with more 
deliberation. 

" Breakfast for two in my retreat," said Mr. Tresillian to 
his valet on the previous evening. " Let it be ready at half- 
past nine, and call me at half-past eight. You will not be 
required to wait." The wily servant was accustomed to dual 
preparations for meals in the woodland, and acted accord- 



Sabina. 117 

ingly. As his master, however, had not been communica- 
tive as to who might be the second person to be entertained, 
he supplied the deficiency by creeping into a hollow beech 
tree, after he had made all the necessary preparations for 
breakfast, from whence he might watch for the expected 
guest. Presently he saw Mr. Tresillian coming through the 
woodland. " He've done himself up very handsome, this 
morning. He means mischief, he do. 'Taint a man that's 
a-coming, / know, from the look of his hair. Phew ! how 
'tis scented ! " he exclaimed, as his master passed close to 
his retreat. 

Mr. Tresillian was a voluptuary. He had youth, intellect, 
wealth, and good looks, and proceeded " to make the most," 
not like Doctor Binney, " of both worlds," but of the only 
one of which he felt certain. 

He schemed to have every sense gratified, in the manner 
which promised most enjoyment. He would have the finest 
wines of the best vintage, the best French cook, the best 
materials for him to work with, and would study with the 
judgment of a connoisseur at the theatres the figures of the 
unconscious actresses with other thoughts than those 
naturally suggested by the characters they represented. — 
The creed 

"Which held that women wete but dust, 
The soulless toys of tyrants' lust," 

seemed to him very reasonable, as he had great doubts as to 
his possessing himself any spark of divinity. 

He meant to amuse himself with Sabina, so long as he 
remained at Tregear : perhaps even take her to town with 
him. But no, — it would not tell well at Deepindale that he 
should debauch the niece of an old man so respectable as 
Mr. Rock. 

" Confound these elections ! " he exclaimed. " They are 
always in the way of one's comfort." But the idea of the 
obloquy, which would fall on him if he pursued his schemes 
with regard to Sabina, made him very grave as he walked 
towards the gate through which he expected her to pass. 

" There she comes ! How beautiful she is, face and 
figure'" he exclaimed, looking at her critically. "How 
smooth and delicate is her skin ! how rounded her bust ! 
Ah ! there is no beauty like the beaut) of fifteen and six- 



nS Sabina. 

teen ! What a nuisance that I must not think of her ! If 
I were a peer now, I might kick these voters all to the 
devil ! " And his mind wandered to his elder brother, who 
was drinking away the remains of his liver, in a way which 
seemed to promise the fulfilment of the younger son's 
desire to "kick the inhabitants of Deepindale to the 
devil." 

When Sabina met Mr. Tresillian there was trouble on his 
brow ; in other words, he was out of temper. She came on 
airily enough till she caught the expression of his face, 
when her look changed to timid wonder and apprehension. 

" He cannot find the book for me, I dare say, or perhaps 
someone has stolen the twenty pounds out of it." Sabina 
was too poor to realise the fact that the twenty pounds, so 
important to her, was as twenty farthings, or less than that 
sum, to Mr. Tresillian. 

They met. He looked grave in answer to her timid 
questioning smile. That she must be forbidden fruit made 
him feel disposed to sulk with her. 

" You are very punctual," he said at length. 

"Am I too soon, then?" 

"Certainly not. Do you not see I am here to meet 
you ? " 

" I think he must have lost the needle-book. Why does 
he not give it to me ? " was the thought in Sabina's mind. 

"She is very charming and innocent. I don't see why I 
should give her up ? " was Mr. Tresillian's reflection. 

They walked on in silence. Sabina stooped and plucked 
some purple berries from the nightshade, and began to twist 
the stem into a wreath. 

" For what is that intended ? " 

" Oh, I scarcely know. I was thinking if I was able to 
sing at the concert, I should make a wreath of natural 
flowers for my head." 

" Are you going to sing that charming trio which in one 
line will be so appropriate ? — 

" ' A wreath around her head she wore, 
Carnation, woodbine, lilies, rose.' " 

" No," replied the girl, smiling, " in that case I should not 
venture to wear a wreath." 



Sabina. 119 

"From a consciousness that you resemble the Flora 
whose beauties are therein celebrated ? " continued Mr. 
Tresillian. 

" Why do you try to ? " vex me, Sabina would have 

said; but, though she shrank from the mocking tone in 
which he spoke, she did not want to quarrel with him. Was 
he not the possessor of the much desired needle-book and 
the twenty pounds ? 

" Pray, finish your sentence." 

" Oh ! I don't know. But it seemed that you were mock- 
ing me," said Sabina. 

The tone of sadness in which she spoke touched Mr. 
Tresillian. 

"If I am a brute, Miss Rock, attribute it to the true 
cause ; I have not breakfasted. All conversations, or rather 
all fragmentary speeches, before an Englishman has had his 
morning meal, are cold like the hour, and sharp like the 
morning air, and generally disagreeable." 

" Oh ! I thought this morning so beautiful ! " said Sabina, 
happy in the consciousness that she was unusually well 
dressed, and hoping to get her money. " I have not been 
so happy for a long time." 

Mr. Tresillian put down the happiness all to his own score, 
and felt self-complacent. They reached the ladder, and he 
assisted Sabina to ascend into the room, where a luxurious 
breakfast was prepared for two persons. 

The richly chased silver urn bubbled and simmered on 
the most snowy of fine damask tablecloths. The tea-pot, 
cream-jug, and sugar-basin were all of the pattern of the tea- 
urn. The sun gleamed brightly through the leaves of the 
Virginia creeper, red with the tints of autumn, and glittered on 
the gorgeous tea-equipage. Fish, broiled chicken, marma- 
lade, jams, hot rolls, and a large dish of apples were placed 
on the table. 

Mr. Tresillian looked roguishly at Sabina, and then at 
the apples. She understood the look and replied to it. 

" Ah ! these are much finer than those which I ought not 
to have purchased, but did " 

The speech reminded Mr. Tresillian of the necessity for 
paying the bill, and he, still smiling, lifted a plate which had 
been placed in a reversed position on the breakfast-table 



120 Sabina. 

and revealed to the eager eyes of Sabina the much-wept-for 
needle-book. 

" Oh ! " she said ; and, for a few minutes, she articulated 
nothing more. Then, — 

" Oh, dear ! how beautiful it is ! I do not think it is in 
the least faded. The same paper it had over it when Lady 
Sarah gave it to me five years ago ! " 

She wanted to see if the money was safe, but felt ashamed, 
and stopped, blushing. 

Mr. Tresillian understood the feeling and relieved her 
mind by saying, "The money is all right. I looked at it 
this morning, and changed half into gold, which I thought 
you would find more convenient." 

" You are so very good to me," said Sabina, gratefully. 

" Do not praise me too soon." 

" I do not ; you have done what is so thoughtful." 

"Let me give you some tea or coffee." 

And Sabina was now sufficiently happy to enj oy her breakfast. 

She had passed off her shyness, and Mr. Tresillian looked 
at her with pleasure, and thought her a beautiful addition 
to his property, which he looked forward to purchasing for 
his own. 

" 'Tis very strange," he thought, " that she shows no con- 
sciousness of any impropriety of coming thus to a young 
man's room, and eating her breakfast with him. By Jove ! 
I believe she considers me an old fogy like her great-uncle ! 
I wonder what relations she has, and whether they would 
make a fuss." 

He spoke, to assure himself on this point : and as a 
lurcher, knowing the form of a hare, goes around in stealthy 
circles not to alarm his prey till he is close to her, and seizes 
her at one gripe, so Mr. Tresillian began at some distance 
from the point at which he meant ultimately to arrive. 

"You are looking forward with anxiety to this concert?" 

"Yes — no — not anxiety, — I am too conceited for anxiety, 
• — but with pleasure." 

" In what will the pleasure consist?" 

Had Sabina told the truth she would have said, " In sing- 
ing to you, and in your hearing me admired ; " but she only 
answered, " I like to sing, because I do few things well ; 
but singing is one of the few." 



Sabina. 121 

" Then your motive is, to be admired ? " 

" Yes, and to please Mr. Rock." 

" All your relations and friends, doubtless, will rejoice at 
your success ? " 

" All" said Sabina, "doubtless. The all consists of two 
— one relative, Mr. Rock ; one friend, old Susan, his servant. 
You see I am well provided." 

"Has Mr. Rock no friends?" 

"Yes — one old half-pay lieutenant, Mr. Orellan. He 
seems to have outlived all his other ties, and folks who are 
poor and old are not sought by new acquaintances." 

"Will your uncle go to the concert?" 

" Oh, no, I do not think so. He would hardly like to go 
out at night." 

" His health is very delicate, then ? " 

"Yes," said Sabina, "very;" and a cloud came over her 
young face. 

" She will have no one to interfere with her or for her 
when this old man dies," thought her companion. 

Sabina rose. " It is time for me to go." 

" Must you?" He did not mean to urge her to remain. 
He would not frighten her away from him entirely by seem- 
ing too eager to retain her. 

" I will walk part of the way with you." 

" Oh, thank you ! but indeed it is unnecessary." 

" Not quite. What did that man say to you yesterday 
afternoon ? You did not seem to like it, for you ran as fast 
as you could to avoid him." 

" How could you know that ? " said Sabina, with her face 
in a flame. 

" Do you not know that I find out all about you ? But 
who is the man, and what did he want ? " 

" I don't know what he said. I was so frightened, that I 
could not understand him. I think he is mad." And Sabina 
turned pale in her remembered terror. 

Mr. Tresillian was troubled at the recollection as well as 
his companion. 

He would have desired nothing better than to walk to 
Deepindale with Sabina ; but should anyone meet them — 
and part of the way was on the high road — how folks would 
talk ! and how the poor child would be compromised in the 



122 Sabina. 

eyes of the townsfolk, — and, worse still, what would not be 
said of the young member ! 

" You must wait a minute or two, Miss Rock," he said ; 
and going to the door of his retreat, he blew on a shrill 
whistle a prolonged note. " There, sit on my sofa and read 
a book, like a good child, whilst I go towards Tregear for a 
few minutes." 

" I shall go if you do not return soon," said Sabina. 

" No, you must not go till I return," he said, sternly ; and 
Sabina sat down, quite cowed. In a surprisingly short time 
he came back, with a smile, and said he was ready to attend 
her. He had gone to meet his valet, whom he expected to 
see coming from Tregear, but who had taken advantage of 
his master's back being turned to crawl out of his hiding- 
place, and accordingly presented himself before the asto- 
nished eyes of Mr. Tresillian, covered all over with small 
fragments of bark. 

His master was enlightened ; but it did not suit him to 
make any observation. 

"You will follow us to the gate leading to the high road, 
and then keep your eye on Miss Rock without its being 
perceived that you are following [her, and see that she re- 
ceives no molestation. When she is within reach of the 
town you will return." 

He walked by the side of Sabina in silence till they came 
to the gate, — 

" To-morrow, I think, is the concert?" 

"Yes. Are you not coming ? " 

"I do not know; perhaps I may look in," he said, in- 
differently. 

Sabina felt a choking sensation in her bosom, and the 
little of her throat which the dark hair permitted to be seen, 
blushed to a pink hue. 

" He does not care to hear me sing," she thought ; but 
she said nothing. 

Mr. Tresillian had already begun the cruel sport in which 
boys and cats are adepts — the art of tormenting. 

" Good-bye," she said, steadying her voice to pronounce 
the word with indifference. 

He took the little hand which she extended with a light 
touch, and dropped it immediately. 



Sabina. 123 

"Good-morning, Miss Rock;" and with a smiling bow 
he opened and then closed the gate after her departing 
steps. " She begins to love me so soon, that really there 
will be no effort necessary to win her." 

Sabina felt certain, when she had trod that path in the 
morning, that if she obtained the needle-book with the 
twenty pounds, and saw her way clearly out of her diffi- 
culties, she should be the happiest woman in the world. 
She had the twenty pounds in her pocket, and she was ready 
to cry at the fear that Mr. Tresillian would not come to hear 
her sing, and with the certainty that he did not care whether 
he came or not. 

As, however, she got nearer the town, and saw Mr. 
Cressy's shop in the distance, and thought how she had 
always felt it to be " a stumbling-block and rock of offence " 
whenever she had passed it for the last two years, she forgot 
some of her vexation, in the prospect of freeing herself from 
the debt. As she had gone out in the morning she had 
seen the stout form of Mrs. Cressy behind the counter, 
wrapping up a pennyworth of bulls'-eyes for a child, and 
glaring at her through the shop-window simultaneously. She 
had felt uncomfortable then under her scrutiny ; now she 
was triumphant. Mr. Dent's horse was at the door, and 
was stamping impatiently under the torment of the flies. 
They had been troublesome all the morning, and Mr. Dent 
had wished them all dead, even though they made " the 
apothecary's ointment to stink," which, as he observed, 
could not matter much, considering it was the nature of all 
the contents of his shop. He had found it difficult, owing 
to the caracoles of his horse, to sing the most difficult little 
bit in " The Curfew,"— 

" Yet where their midnight pranks have been," 

which had haunted him day and night like an unaccom- 
plished duty. To-morrow night must be the scene of his 
triumph or disgrace as a votary of Apollo, — 

" Glorious Apollo ! from on high " 

''Oh, here we are," and he pulled up at the private door by 
the side of the shop. 



124 Sabina. 

" Well, Mrs. Cressy, how are we to-day ? How is the in- 
teresting patient ? Getting on nicely ? " and Mr. Dent's 
voice was made up to the most suave of tones to coax Mrs. 
Cressy into acquiescence with the performance of the con- 
cert without the aid of 'Melia's voice. 

Mrs. Cressy, who had been swelling with anger at the 
announcement of the concert for the next night, had a feel- 
ing that hers was "the sleeping whirlwind sway" that 
hushed in grim repose awaited " its evening prey." They 
thought they should sing their trios and quartettes : she knew 
better. She had in her hands the power which governs all 
things in the civilised world — the power of wealth, and she 
knew how to apply the screw of poverty to her young 
debtor. Had Miss Rock had the means of paying, she 
would have paid at once, she argued. If the concert were 
not stopped, it should be a dead failure for want of vocal 
music. They should suffer for thinking her 'Melia could be 
set aside, as if her absence were unimportant. She thought 
how well it would have sounded in the county paper, the 
Cornwall Gazette, that the concert for the display of native 
talent at Deepindale had been put off in consequence of the 
serious illness of the talented vocalist, Miss Amelia Cressy. 
As it was going to take place, such a paragraph was impos- 
sible, but another might be inserted : "The concert for the 
benefit of the Cornish Infirmary took place on Thursday, 
the 16th instant, at Deepindale; but in consequence of the 
severe illness of that distinguished vocalist, Miss Cressy 
(not a word about scarlet fever— that would keep customers 
away from the shop), a general gloom and disappointment 
pervaded the assembly, and the company were disappointed 
of the musical treat, which her well-known talent had led 
them to expect." 

" That will just do," said the mother, satisfied with her 
imaginary composition, and she could afford to be less sour 
to Mr. Dent than usual, when, since 'Melia's illness, he 
averred, not her own sauce apples could equal her tart- 
ness. Thank you, Mr. Dent, 'Melia's nicely; you'll walk 
up." 

" Yes, indeed," said the apothecary, as he descended the 
stairs — " she is so well that I hope you will favour us to- 
night with your company at the concert." 



Sabiiia. 125 

'•Thankee, no, Mr. Dent; I like the human voice, I do. 
I don't care for your rosin and scrapings, and violins and 
violincellers — not I ! Give me a good song, say I." 

" Oh, but we shall have " 

" Yes, I know — the peeanner ; but that's not much. It 
don't speak like a human voice, you see." 

" I flatter myself," said Mr. Dent, with an air of import- 
ance, " that you would not be otherwise than gratified with 
our vocal strains, Mum." 

"Are you and Mr. Grinde a-going to sing duets, then?" 

'• No, Mum, a trio and a quartette." 

" Indeed ! and who is the third, then ?" 

'• Hem ! Miss Rock has kindly " he blushed, for he 

knew he was on delicate ground. 

'• If you mean that Miss Rock is a-going to take 'Melia's 
place, you're mistaken, that's all. She aint going to do no 
such thing, or my name's not Mary Cressy." 

" You will find yourself mistaken, Mum. Mr. Rock has 
promised his niece shall lend her aid." 

" Then Mr. Rock had better pay his niece's bills and his 
own. Look here " — putting the large ledger over the counter, 
and opening it at the letter R. " There, Sir, there ! add up 
them items, and you will find it comes to 7/. us. io^d. It 
aint perfessional to tell such things ; but it makes my blood 
boil, it do — owing this two year ; she can't pay it, nor he 
neither, 'tis my belief; but," continued the furious green- 
groceress, " if that money aint paid down here before height 
o'clock to-morrow morning, I'll know the reason why." She 
slammed-to the book with a loud smack, and placing her 
arms akimbo, she asked if Mr. Dent and Mr. Grinde would 
like to make up the money between them. This proposition 
was made with a triumphant grin ; she knew how valuable 
was money to both gentlemen. 

Poor Mr. Dent was sadly discomposed at this last blow. 
He ran over in his mind whether he might possibly lump the 
money into his attendance on 'Melia ; but no — that healthy 
young lady was nearly well, and had declined camphor 
draughts and quinine pills to aid in her restoration ; so he 
gazed blankly on Mrs. Cressy's infuriated face, and was 
silent, when a light step was heard behind him, and Sabina 
tripped into the shop, and in her pretty, childish voice hoped 



126 Sabma. 

Miss Cressy was better. She looked pleadingly into the 
angry face opposed to her ; for she knew she had been in 
fault for what she could not help. 

Mr. Dent's kind heart ached for the poor girl. "For 
certainly she is going to catch it now," said he to himself. 

" As to that, Miss Rock, 'Melia will be well in a few days, 
if folks had but the manners to wait for her." 

" The infection, my dear Madam, the infection. The 
sweet young ladies at Tregear — -'twould never do." 

" Nobody asked your opinion, Mr. Dent." 

" Really, Mrs. Cressy, my professional reputation " 

" Phew ! That for your reputation ! " said the furious 
woman. " And now, little Miss, are you going to pay up, or 
not ? I don't want no humbug." 

" I called for that purpose," said Sabina, taking out the 
needle-book ; and Mr. Dent's face flushed with pleasure, 
whilst Mrs. Cressy's subsided into paleness. Sabina counted 
out the money, and waited for the receipt. 

Mr. Dent did not leave the shop till he had seen this part 
of the transaction completed, and then he made a sweeping 
bow, and went off with a jerk of delight in his gait. 

" If I didn't attend them professionally, I'd never buy a 
two-penny cabbage there again so long as I live ; but I can't 
afford to quarrel with them, though the last potatoes they 
sent were diseased, and two-pence a peck dearer than 
Green's at the other end of the town. I don't attend 
Green's ; it's a pity." 

When Sabina returned home she had not outstaid her 
time, though in her newly-born horror of debt she had called 
on Mr. Milford, and paid the small sum owing for her muslin 
dress, and had performed the same act of duty at the boot- 
maker's. She had still ten pounds and some odd silver, and 
she longed to buy something for her gjeat-uncle and for old 
Susan. A ribbon to be pinned round old Susan's cap she 
did buy, not believing she would trouble herself to inquire 
whether it was paid for, or whence came the money, but she 
feared her uncle's scrutiny, and felt sure that he would re- 
ceive nothing of the purchase of which he did not know the 
history. 




CHAPTER XIV 

" Mine is the lay that lightly floats, 
And mine are the muimuring, dying notes, 
That fall as soft as snow in the sea, 
And melt in the heart as instantly ; 
And the passionate strain that, deeply going, 
Refines the bosom it trembles through : 
As the musk wind o'er the water blowing 
Ruffles the wave, but sweetens it too." — Moore. 

jHE morning dawned on which the long-expected 
concert was to take place. Sabina's muslin dress 
was laid out on her small bed, with an under-dress 
of faultless white. She had some ribbons of pale 
pink, and was wondering- from whom she should beg some 
natural flowers for a wreath. 

"There," she said, "it does not matter how I look; he 
will not be there ; " but there was a little lingering hope that 
he might come after all. 

She was up in her little room in the middle of the day. 
She heard a knock at the door, and listened. She was sure 
she distinguished the name of Miss Rock, and she called to 
Susan, after the door had been closed, to come up to her. 
Sabina had been adding a little lace to her white muslin 
dress, and having tried it on once more, she was undressed 
and unable to run down to satisfy her curiosity. 

"Coming, Miss," Susan answered; but she came not. 

Presently Sabina heard flap, flap, flap going on in the back 
yard, and knew that Susan was beating mats against the sill 
of the back door. 

" Horrid old woman ! I hate her ! " said the impatient 



128 Sabina. 

girl. " I had better have dressed at once and gone down 
myself." 

When she had accomplished this, she met Susan ascend- 
ing the stairs slowly, with a covered basket in one hand, 
and a roll of mats in the other. 

" You see, Miss, I thought I might as well beat the mats 
first, just to save two walks up stairs." 

" What is it ? Where did it come from ? What is inside ? " 

"Lor, Miss, I can't tell. A boy brought it. Says he, 
'Do Mr. Rock live here?' 'Yes,' says I. 'Then,' says 
he, ' this is for Miss Rock ; ' and he turned away without 
another word." 

Sabina went into her room, and guessed the contents of 
the basket by the combination of perfumes which it ex- 
haled, even before the cover was removed. It was full of 
hot-house flowers, exquisite in form, colour, and scent, and 
cut with the utmost recklessness as to coming buds, which 
a gardener's hand would have spared for future blossoms. 
No gardener had collected these fragile beauties. Amongst 
others there were stems of the passion flower as flexile 
and far more lovely than the nightshade, which Sabina 
had half twined into a wreath when she walked through 
the wood with Mr. Tresillian. She sat down flushed and 
trembling with her happy consciousness. 

It was so very kind of him to remember what she had 
said. He must like her a little. Then growing pale at 
the suggestion — " I wonder if these flowers mean any- 
thing? Flowers have meanings sometimes." She had 
some confused notion of having seen a little book called 
the " Language of Flowers," and of a story — a very old 
and forgotten one — called the " Indian Cottage," in which 
a Pariah woos his love by placing in her way a poppy, which 
was to indicate the following sentiment — "I burn;" the 
gauzy scarlet leaves being the flame, the heart-shaped seed 
enclosed by them the heart, and the black stamen represent- 
ing the ashes into which it was being consumed ; but this 
poppy had been a field flower, and these were all hot-house 
productions, which, no doubt, accounted for the absence of 
this expected tell-tale weed. 

"I'm glad there is no mignonette;' that means, 'Your 
qualities surpass your charms,'" said Sabina. "Here is 



Sabina. 129 

a lovely branch of myrtle, with its blossoms like white 
stars." 

" The myrtle bough bids lovers live." 

Now, did he mean this ? Did he mean anything, or no- 
thing ? 

Sabina left this question, which has in all time so distracted 
the minds of her sex, to be solved by futurity. One thing 
was clear, he had sent her the flowers, and she might arrange 
a beautiful wreath before night. 

She bolted the door of her little room, and sat down to 
her work. Some flowers were too large, and the stiff stems 
of others made them unmanageable ; but she succeeded at 
length to her satisfaction, for the three-cornered bit of look- 
ing-glass reflected a lovely image. 

When this was completed, a terrible thought overwhelmed 
her. If she wore this wreath of hot-house flowers, how 
could she account for their possession ? She must be re- 
duced, like Faust's Marguerite, to exhibit her ornaments to 
an old Susan instead of old Martha. If Mr. Orellan should 
observe on the wreath in the presence of her uncle, into what 
a labyrinth of lies should she not be plunged, to account for 
her having them. 

" Pretty creatures ! " said Sabina, placing them carefully 
in water. "Never mind; they will last longer for not 
being exposed to the heat of the concert-room." 

She took a carnation and a bit of geranium, however, to 
fasten into the front of her dress, and twisted them care- 
fully together with a piece of netting-silk. 

Would it be a fine night? An important question to 
Sabina's white dress, as she must walk through the town 
over the streets ungraced by flat pavement. 

Both she and her uncle were silent during their evening 
meal. The old man was revolving a little plan in his own 
head, which he did not confide to his niece, and she was 
occupied in nervous anxiety as to the circumstances of the 
evening. She did not doubt her musical powers ; she had 
the confidence possessed by all endowed with genius, that 
she should deserve success ; but, would he be there ? What 
would applause be if he heard it not ? She felt a conviction 
creeping over her that he would not go to the concert, and 
she was half inclined to sit down and cry. 



130 Sab ina. 

It was time to go. 

She wrapped her cloak over the spotless white dress, and 
placing its hood over her head, she went into the sitting- 
room and kissed her uncle's bald head tenderly. 

" Wish me success, uncle, and pray do not sit up for 
me — now mind, you must not. Susan, do not let Mr. 
Rock sit up." 

The door closed after her, and she was gone. When she 
reached the concert-room, which was held at the hotel in the 
very ball-room in which poor Sabina's mortifications among 
the pupils had been manifold, she found the performers 
assembled in the tea-room, in a state of nervous trepida- 
tion, which left no space for sympathy with any terrors 
but their individual ones. 

Mr. Temple had damaged one of the strings of his 
violoncello, and doubted its lasting through the evening. 
He had sent to the music-shop, but the unfeeling owner of 
silver wire and cat-gut strings had sent a long-standing 
account back, with a notice that if Mr. Temple wanted 
a silver string, he had better pay for what he owed there 
already. Unless money was forthcoming, the string would 
not be. Mr. Mudge, of the music-shop, knew that the 
churchwardens had that morning granted the organist a 
gratuity of ten pounds in addition to his salary. 

Mr. Temple hesitated ; perhaps the string might last ; 
but there was a suspicious flaw in the circle of silver wire. 

He would risk it. Ten pounds were precious rarities to 
him, and he could not bear to throw them away on an 
old account. 

Mr. Dent had a " heart bowed down by weight of woe," 
for he had received a violent letter from Mrs. Cressy, de- 
clining his professional services for the future. 

" Must call to-morrow, and try to make it up," he said. 

Mr. Grinde had made himself nearly sick by eating Mr. 
Dent's cough lozenges, which Mr. Dent himself was too 
wise to taste, though both gentlemen had colds. 

The pianist could not get the piano and the violins 
into tune together, and the perspiration stood on his brow 
in the violence of his efforts. 

" Half-past six. They'll be here at seven though it don't 
begin till _ half-past. Keep the doors fast for the love of 
Heaven, till I try once more." 



Sabina. 131 

" You are very near it now," said Sabina, kindly ; and 
the pianist was grateful for the first words of encourage- 
ment he had heard. 

" That is the note which is faulty," she continued. " That 
A flat is too sharp." He altered the tone a sixteenth, 
according to her ear, and was satisfied. Now the violin 
players must do their duty ; and the scraping and squeak- 
ing was deafening. Sabina forgot her anxieties in the 
troubles around her, and when the doors were opened and 
the company thronged in, her heart had ceased to beat 
so tumultuously. 

A green curtain had been placed before the platform 
on which the performers were raised, as it was thought 
that thus a better effect would be produced than by their see- 
ing the votaries of Apollo coming in one by one. Before 
it drew up, Sabina peeped through a friendly aperture, 
made by a colony of moths, to see who were present. 

In the front row sat Lady Sarah, and at the end of the 
chairs the governess flanked a row of young ladies from 
Tregear, amongst whom, now grown to womanhood, Sabina 
recognised her rival of the fair locks ; but her heart sank 
within her, for Mr. Tresillian was not there. 

Of what use was now the white muslin so carefully kept 
from every stain ? Of what use the carnation which gave 
warmth and life to its snowy folds? Of what use the 
magnificent voice, of the possession of which Sabina was 
so well aware ? In the extremity of her disappointment 
she cared not for it, nor for anything in life. However, 
the work must be done, the songs must be sung ; but 
Sabina needed not to appear till they wanted her, and 
she remained alone in the tea-room. 

The overture to Bon Giovanni was first performed by the 
piano, violins and violoncello. 

It was respectably played, and the audience, not being 
tired, applauded kindly. 

The approbation was not sufficiently continued to de- 
mand an encore, however, and " The Curfew " followed, 
which brought Sabina to the front of the foot-lights. 

When she came forward in her simple white dress, her 
dark clusters of rich hair falling over her shoulders in 
ringlets, her extreme youth, and the flush on her cheeks, 
produced by her appearing in the presence of so large an 



132 Sabina. 

assembly, so impressed the townsfolk of Deepindale that 
they wondered why they had never before found out Sabina's 
excessive beauty. 

When the three voices began, 

" Hark the curfew's solemn sound, 
Silent darkness spreads around," 

her voice was measured and tremulous ; for, several rows 
back, seated on one of the forms, leaning on that well- 
remembered stick, was that old bald head, whose dimmed 
eyes were now fixed on his niece, with a yearning love and 
anxiety that pierced her very heart. 

" How very naughty and imprudent in uncle to come 
here, — he will be ill, — I must do my best to please him." 

These hurried disjointed thoughts passed through Sabina's 
mind before she arrived at " Solemn Darkness." 

By the time that the treble voice rises to and holds the 
high notes in 

" Heavy it smites on the lover's heart, 
Who leaves with a sigh his tale half told," 

the beauty of the half notes, and Sabina's consciousness of 
the power and wealth of her voice steadied it, and she gave 
the passage with a richness and correctness, which affected the 
company though they knew not wherefore. The beautiful 
allegro movement, " O'er the Dewy Green," excited the 
audience, even the least musical, with pleasurable sensations, 
and the encore was universal. 

Sabina withdrew to the tea-room and to solitude, whilst a 
duet between the flute and piano was executed success- 
fully. 

Then followed a fantasia on the piano, which was to be 
succeeded by "The Soldier Tired." 

Sabina had given to this bravura all her care and atten- 
tion, having heard that it was considered to be the touch- 
stone of vocal excellence, and that all young vocalists were 
expected to prove their ability or inability by this test. 

The pianist looked round at her to see if she were 
nervous, but Sabina's hands did not tremble as she placed 
the open book on the piano for his benefit, — not for her 
own, for her memory, as well as her voice, was perfect. 



Sabina. 133 

As he preluded, she looked at her uncle to judge if he 
were anxious ; another head in the glory of youth and 
beauty was beside that of Mr. Rock. Mr. Tresillian had 
come in during the last performance, and the occupier of 
the seat next to him, seeing the member for the borough 
looking for a place, had risen politely, and given up his 
own. 

The pleasure of seeing him made Sabina's cheeks flush, and 
her eyes sparkle into added beauty. She felt triumphant ; 
she knew she should sing well, and poured out such rich 
and spirit-stirring tones that the audience held their breath 
to hear, their attention being, it must be confessed, height- 
ened by the evident approbation felt by the Tregear party, 
headed by Lady Sarah. When her ladyship listened so 
attentively, and gently beat time with the sticks of her fan 
on the whitest of kid gloves, the music must merit the atten- 
tion of the townsfolk of Deepindale. 

The song ceased, and there was a rapturous call for its 
repetition. The stick had begun to join in the applause ; 
but struck with a sudden consciousness that the chantress 
was too nearly allied to him to allow of any expression of 
opinion without breach of etiquette, Mr. Rock restrained his 
impatient energies. There was a little pause, and Sabina 
stooped her pretty head, and whispered something to the 
performer on the piano, who bowed in reply, and preluding 
on another key, played the symphony of one of Dibdin's old 
sea-songs. Sabina felt her power, and determined her 
auditors should feel the beauty of some of her uncle's favour- 
ite melodies. 

We give the words, which will sound strange to the ears 
of the present generation, so wholly are they forgotten, and 
so completely out of date : — 

" When 'tis night and the mid-watch is come, 

And chilly mists hang o'er the darkened main, 
Then sailors think of their far distant home, 
And of the friends they ne'er may see again. 
But when the fight's begun, 
Each serving at his gun, 
Should any thought of home come o'er their mind, 
Think only should the day be won, 
How 'twould cheer 
Their hearts to hear 
That their old companion he was one. 



134 Sabina. 

" Or, my lad, if you a mistress kind 

Have left on shore, some pretty girl and true, 
Who many a night doth listen to the wind, 

And sighs to think how it may fare with you ; 
But when the fight's begun, 
Each serving at his gun, 
Should any thought of her come o'er your mind, 
Think only should the day be won, 
How 'twould cheer 
Her heart to hear 
That her own true sailor he was one." 

Sabina sang the first four lines quietly, as if relating facts ; 
but when the movement quickened into, — ■ 

" But when the fight's begun, 
Each serving at his gun," 

her countenance and her enunciation spoke the liveliest 
enthusiasm. 
At the line, — 

" How 'twould cheer," 

her voice rose and held the high note, and giving way to 
her fancy, she made an ad libitum grace, running up the 
scale and descending in half-notes, till she came to the next 
line, — 

" Their hearts to hear 
That their own true sailor he had won," 

came with a mixture of triumph and pathos that lived for 
years after in the memory of her auditors. 

In " The Soldier Tired " she had astonished by her bril- 
liancy ; now she touched by her exquisite tenderness. She 
looked at her uncle, but his head was bowed ; to conceal 
the tears he was ashamed to call attention to by the use of 
his handkerchief. At his side the handsome counten- 
ance of Mr. Tresillian was beaming with pleasure at her 
success. 

Sabina was very happy. 

The concert afterwards flagged in interest till the conclud- 
ing quartette — "The Redcross Knight," in which Sabina's 
voice rang out so clearly yet roundly in the high notes, that 
Mr. Dent, Mr. Grinde, and the pianist, who took the second 
voice and played the accompaniment, would have felt them- 



Sabina. 135 

selves to have been unheard, had they not each been so 
self-occupied that nothing but their own voices were present 
to their ears. 

During the execution of this glee, Sabina, free from all 
anxiety, as the work was so nearly done, had time to look 
about her. She avoided, shyly, the eyes of Mr. Tresillian, 
in which the expression was so intense that she dared 
not encounter it, and looked touchingly on the face of her 
uncle, who was trying to conceal his triumph and delight 
under the appearance of well-bred indifference, in which we 
need scarcely say the open-hearted sailor failed entirely. 
" The child will have her head turned," he went on repeat- 
ing to himself, and it seemed not unlikely when at the con- 
clusion of " The Redcross Knight," when the applause had 
in some degree subsided, Lady Sarah, who was looking 
younger and handsomer than ever, caught the eye of the 
young songstress, who had been watching her fair-haired 
. rival of former days, and made a sign to her to come to her. 
Like the fancied attendants of Malvolio, " twelve men 
with an obedient start " rushed forward to assist Miss Rock 
to descend from the platform. At any other time she might 
have scrambled down as she could ; but now she was 
favoured by the notice of Lady Sarah, and was the favourite 
of the evening. During the prformance Lady Sarah had 
been struck by a brilliant idea. She remembered that 
crowned heads and great folks often rewarded public per- 
formers by some token of their admiration, and of their ap- 
preciation of their services in contributing to the amusement 
of the public, and she thought how grand a stroke of policy 
it would be, and how graceful an act, were she to sacrifice 
one of her trinkets in aid of her son's popularity. She 
looked at her fingers, and saw on one a diamond, which 
always made her feel melancholy, she said. She had given 
it in token of girlish friendship, and at the death of the re- 
cipient it had been, at that friend's request, returned to her. 
It was handsome and valuable, but she felt she could part 
with it with satisfaction in such a cause. When Sabina was 
led up to her ladyship with great state by Mr. Temple, Mr. 
Dent and Mr. Grinde following to enjoy the triumph, and 
perhaps to receive a few personal compliments — at any 
event, a little notice from the great lady — this majestic 
beauty made a little speech, which she had arranged in her 



136 Sabina. 

memory after she had determined on sacrificing her ring to 
her son's and her own popularity. 

" Permit me to offer to your acceptance," said she, " a 
small token of remembrance of the great gratification your 
musical talent has this evening afforded me ; " and she placed 
the ring on the small hand Sabina presented, timidly. 

" Oh, my lady, you were always too good to me," replied 
Sabina, her eyes humid with emotion, expressing all the 
gratitude which her tongue refused to utter. 

The lady was quite satisfied with the giver and with the 
recipient of the gift, and arose with a stately gesture, drawing 
the folds of her cashmere shawl around her, whilst Sabina 
stood by to let her pass. Her son pressed forward to offer 
his arm to Lady Sarah, and conducted her to the tea-room, 
from whence he returned immediately, and addressing 
Sabina, said, " My mother has begged you to accept the use 
of her carriage to take you home ; she is going to take some 
tea, and will not require it till it returns." This was uttered 
in an audible voice; then, in a low tone, "No wreath?" 

" I dared not," said Sabina, blushing ; " but the carriage — ■ 
oh, if I might -" 

"Might! of course. Lady Sarah wishes it. It rains, too." 

" It is not that," said Sabina, more and more confused ; 
" but if you would take Mr. Rock ? I don't mind wet in the 
least — that is — not much," she added, looking down on her 
dress. 

"Hang it!" exclaimed Mr. Tresillian to himself. "I 
wanted ' sweet Ann Page,' and I have not even ' a lubberly 
boy,' but an infirm old man thrown into the bargain ! " But 
he only said he should be delighted to place Lady Sarah's 
carriage at Mr. Rock's disposal, and changed his intention 
of accompanying Sabina home alone in the carriage, the 
idea of which had set his heart into tumults, into handing 
her to the door of it, and then fetching her uncle and de- 
positing him safely by her side, the old sailor protesting 
vigorously that he did not desire so unworthily to occupy the 
vehicle, destined to a fairer freight. 

Mr. Tresillian held out his hand to the veteran that he 
might imprison the soft fingers of Sabina for an instant, who 
was so disturbed by the pressure of his, that she was scarcely 
conscious of anything else till the carriage-door was shut, and 
he was gone. 



CHAPTER XV 




" Not undelightful is the thoughtful game, 

Where martial queens the mimic fray command, 
When puzzled ladies blush for very shame, 
With furrowed forehead and suspended hand." 

H. Maldon, Esq, 

R. ROCK was not insensible of notice from those 
placed in a higher position than himself : wealth 
and its possessors, when they are gracious, are so 
irresistible to those less happily circumstanced. 
The old sailor sat upright on the spring cushions of Lady 
Sarah's carriage, with a smile of gratified vanity on his face. 
One thought was in his breast : " What will that fellow 
Orellan say to this ? " 

" That fellow ! " Yes ; I must confess that the course of 
true friendship, like that of love, is sometimes ruffled in its 
progress. Since Sabina had lived with her uncle, Mr. 
Orellan had been inspired with a frightful jealousy of Mr. 
Rock's attachment to his niece. " Rock has no one to care 
for but myself," he used to say on every occasion. " Rock 
can do nothing without my advice." And when it was sug- 
gested that he might live more cheaply in another locality, 
he had given it as a reason for remaining where he was, that 
" Rock could not live without him." So long as Mr. Rock 
found Sabina an intolerable nuisance, and expressed the 
same in no measured language to his friend, Lieutenant 
Orellan rather inclined to defend the neglected and contemned 
orphan; but so soon as he saw what he designated as 
" Rock's infatuation about that girl," he became her bitter 
enemy, and was ever enumerating old offences and ostending 
new ones, which irritated alike both uncle and niece. 



138 Sabina. 

It seemed strange that a man of sixty-five should be 
jealous of a child, but such was the fact. His intimacy 
with Mr. Rock gave him a privilege to be unpleasant ; or, 
as he himself termed it, "friendly in his observations." 

" I saw that girl of yours in High Street to-day. Would 
you believe it ? There were holes in her gloves, at the tip 
of each finger ! " 

" When Sabina called with your message at my house to- 
day her hat had lost a string, and her hair was blowing about 
her face in a most untidy way." 

The uncle, who was growing very fond of Sabina, could 
not help boasting of her chess-playing powers. 

" Can she beat you ? " 

"No." 

Mr. Rock's truth compelled the negative. Sabina had 
been too wise to allow herself the luxury of winning a game 
from her uncle. 

Mr. Orellan allowed a slight sneer to curl his long upper 
lip. Mr. Rock felt nettled. 

"I don't mean to say she will beat you; but she plays 
better than you think." 

" We will try, then." 

And in the evening, when the game was concluded be- 
tween the old sailors, by the triumph of Lieutenant Orellan, 
the victor had challenged Sabina, somewhat mockingly : 

" Well, Miss Rock, if you know the moves, I should like 
to play with you." 

Sabina hated him, and did not want to play. She was 
afraid of being beaten. 

" Perhaps you cannot play ? " 

"I never pretended to be able to play well." 

But, like an unfortunate hunted animal brought to bay, 
she made a virtue of necessity, and sat down, with a heart 
so palpitating that she removed her side from the small 
table, lest the pulsations should become audible to her 
antagonist. Nothing, however, could conceal the trepida- 
tion evinced by her hand when she was compelled to move 
her king's pawn in answer to his first move, which he threw 
for and won. 

" Frightened out of her wits, of course ! — knows she can't 
play ! Rock is quite a fool about her ! " 

Sabina not having had the advantage of the move was 



Sabina. 139 

obliged to act on the defensive, a kind of play which did not 
suit the dashing style which she preferred. She must be 
careful and watch her opportunity. Mr. Orellan held his 
childish antagonist in contempt. He ran down his queen 
to attack her castled king, and so supported her by bishop's 
knight, that Sabina was within two moves of checkmate. 

" A miss is as good as a mile," she said to herself. And 
advancing her king's rook's pawn, supported by his knight's 
pawn, she avoided the danger, and so hemmed in her ad- 
versary's queen that she could not escape. When she fell a 
victim to her ignoble assailant, Mr. Orellan could hardly 
repress a groan. Mr. Rock arose to look over the board. 

" For Heaven's sake, Rock, don't watch the game ; I hate 
that." 

Mr. Rock gave a soft whistle of "The Saucy Arethusa," 
and sat down very gently ; in doing this, however, he acci- 
dentally kicked the fender, and down with a crash came all 
the fireirons, on which Lieutenant Orellan started up and 
declared that to play was impossible in such an infernal 
row, and thereupon he upset the chess-board. 

Sabina smiled, a little wicked smile, and picked up the 
scattered men, replacing them on the board with a tenacity 
of memory that was quite distracting to the lieutenant. 

" It is late ; I shall not finish the game," he exclaimed, 
hurriedly. "Good-night, Rock; good-night, Miss." 

" Stop for your whisky-and-water, my good fellow," said 
his old friend. 

" No— no ; 'tis too late." 
And he was gone. 

Now the want of sympathy evinced by Stephen Orellan 
with Michael Rock's love for his niece had weakened the 
friendship between them. Nothing could ever re-establish 
it, but the confession from the latter that his niece was 
utterly worthless ; and, even had he believed the truth of 
this, he never was likely to confess it. It was this feeling 
of growing irritation which made him, as the carriage-door 
closed on him, think, "I wonder what that felloiv, Orellan, 
would say to this ? " 

I have watched two dogs living together on sufficiently 
friendly terms of intimacy. When one has been caressed by 
his master's hand, whilst bridling his head, and striking the 
floor with his tail in token of his pride and joy, he has 



140 Sabina. 

turned his eye stealthily to where his friend and rival sat 
afar off, to observe if he were conscious of the honour his 
companion was receiving. 

Mr. Rock's pleasure was enhanced by the idea that 
Stephen Orellan would now see that if he, Michael Rock, 
were infatuated about Sabina, she had exercised her en- 
chantment on others also. 

He wondered if he had been present. It did not matter ; 
if he had kept away from his dislike " to hear that girl 
squalling," as he had stated to be his intention, Mr. Rock 
would have the pleasure of pouring all the details into his 
unwilling ears to-morrow evening. 

Sabina, whose fingers had now ceased to tingle from the 
pressure of Mr. Tresillian's hand, looked at the open 
window next to her uncle, and pulled up the glass. In 
doing this the light glanced on the diamond on her finger, 
and her delighted relative saw it for the first time. 

" Where did it come from ? How did you get it ? Who 
gave it to you?" were the exclamations precipitated one 
over the other by Mr. Rock, who had watched the inter- 
view from a distance between his niece and Lady Sarah, 
and, mindful of the richly-freighted needle-book of former 
days, divined the generous donor of the diamond ring. He 
did not feel wounded by her receiving a gift from one who 
was considered as a queen of Deepindale. 

How pleased he was ! How he pretended not to hear 
what Sabina said, that he might have the delight of having 
every word of Lady Sarah's little speech repeated till he had 
learnt it by heart, for his own pleasure, and for Orellan's 
pain. 

" That fellow shall do her justice," he determined. 




CHAPTER XVI. 




" Envy doth merit like its shade pursue, 
And like the shadow proves the substance true." 

HERE goes the carriage back to Tregear," said 
Mrs. Cressy, raising herself on her arm in bed, 
addressing the observation to her sleepy 
husband. 

"Very likely," he murmured. 

She laid down her head, but the sound of the carriage 
pursued her as it passed through the silent town. Folks 
walked to and from their gaieties in Deepindale, and the 
carnage from Tregear was the only one in motion. 

Presently it stopped. What could that mean ? Mrs. 
Cressy untied her night-cap, and turned back one flap of 
it, giving herself the look of a half lop-eared rabbit. 

It had certainly stopped. There ! the door was opened, 
now shut again ; surely it wasn't coming back ? 

Mrs. Cressy jumped out of the bed, which seemed to 
spring up when released from her twelve-stone weight, and 
showed a broad circumference of shoulder and back, arrayed 
in a short jacket tied round her waist over her under gar- 
ment worn by day. Mr. Cressy was rheumatic, and when Mrs. 
Cressy threw up the window, he exclaimed, "My dear!!!" 
What was rheumatism against curiosity ? Mrs. Cressy leaned 
out till she endangered her falling, in order to satisfy herself 
that it was really the Tregear carriage which had stopped at 
-Mr. Rock's door ; so she pretended not to hear the remon- 
strance of her quieter half. 

At length the return of the carriage, with the drab and 
scarlet livery, left no doubt on the mind of the indignant 



142 Sab ilia. 

cabbage-seller, and she pulled down the sash with a bang, 
and got into bed again.. 

" Do lie still, Mrs. C, you bring in such a draught of cold 
air with your banging about so, window-opening and all, 
such a sharp night." 

" Sharp be blowed ! " said the angry woman, turning 
round indignantly. "You've got no feeling for your own 
flesh and blood." 

" But I have for my bones and muscles, Mrs. Cressy," was 
the retort ; and Mrs. Cressy, finding herself getting the worst 
of it, pretended to go to sleep. 

'Melia was well enough to get up if she had liked it, but 
she preferred taking her breakfast in bed ; and her mother 
was standing by its side, with a cup of tea and a plate of 
hot buttered toast in her hand, when the trampling of a 
horse was heard ; and looking over the blind, the green- 
groceress perceived Mr. Dent, who reined up his steed just 
at Mr. Cressy's private door. 

" He never will have the face to call after the letter I 
wrote him," said Mrs. Cressy. 

"Lor, ma !" said 'Melia, "let him come up; we shan't 
hear nothing about nobody if he don't come to tell us. Tis 
wuth the five shilluns he charge to hear the news, and pa no 
need to scringe." 

"You've no dignity, 'Melia. You're too kind-hearted." 
And Mr. Dent, receiving no rebuff from the servant girl, 
came up into 'Melia's bed-room. 

Now Mrs. Cressy would have been glad to have received 
Mr. Dent in a dignified manner, seated with her hands be- 
fore her, and to have got up and dropped a stiff courtesy, but 
the doctor had her at a disadvantage, standing with 'Melia's 
breakfast in her hands. It obviated the necessity however 
of shaking hands with him, an omission for which he cared 
little, as he walked to the bedside and encircled 'Melia's 
coarse wrist with his fingers. 

" Quite nicely this morning, Miss Cressy, I perceive." 

"I presume, Mr. Dent, you didn't git my note to you 
last night, or you was too busy to 'tend to it," said Mrs. 
Cressy. 

" Never too busy to attend to any commands of yours, 
Mum, and I called just to see if I could not set matters 
straight between us. You see I'm just back from Tregear, 



Sabina. 143 

sent for, post haste, this morning, by Lady Sarah — could not 
do without my services." f 

"Dear me! what was wrong? Not Lady Sarah, I 
thought ? Good gracious ! Surely she's a widdee ? " 

"Widows, dear Madam, sometimes require medical at- 
tendance ; but it was not her ladyship, though the summons 
came in her name — one of the ladies of the household." 

"Oh !" said both mother and daughter, much impressed. 
"What was it?" 

" Excuse me, ladies ; professional delicacy forbids dis- 
closing medical secrets." 

The fact having been that the kitchen-maid had upset a 
kettle of boiling water over her foot, and as Mr. Dent always 
attended her mother, a Deepindale woman, the kitchen-maid 
had sent for him on her own account ; and the messenger, to 
quicken the movements of the surgeon, had used Lady 
Sarah's name. 

" Well, lor ! do tell about the concert," said 'Melia ; 
" I'm a-busting to know." 

"You were much missed, my dear young lady, and I can- 
not but say that Miss Rock's performances were very inferior 
in grace and delicacy to what we might have expected from 
your gifts. Still the pieces went off smoothly. I don't wish 
to say anything of my own share in them, but," — with a 
simper, — "I think they were noticed by the people from 
Tregear. Indeed, Lady Sarah expressed her admiration 
very decidedly, in a pretty compliment to the vocal per- 
formers." 

"///-deed ! " said Mrs. Cressy. 

Mr. Dent saw the storm rising, and hastened to pour oil 
on the waters. 

"So much so, and so successful was the whole perform- 
ance in this respect" (slapping his pockets), "and the 
proceeds are so great, that there are thoughts of having a 
repetition of the concert when Miss 'Melia shall be suffi- 
ciently recovered to take her proper place amongst us." 

Both mother and daughter coloured crimson with pleasure 
at the idea, which had only entered Mr. Dent's head an in- 
stant before he spoke it. 

" But what was that about the Tregear carriage ? What 
did that mean, its stopping at Mr. Rock's door ? " said Mrs. 
Cressy. 



T44 Sabina. 

" Oh, Mr. Rock is a very infirm old gentleman, you know, 
and Lady Sarah is very%ind-hearted, so I dare say she sent 
him home first, as she took a dish of tea at the hotel before 
she went back." 

" Well ! I never heard anything like that" said the 
mother, black with envy. "An old man, who hasn't more 
than ninety pounds a year, to be called a gentleman — 
hardly enough to keep himself alive; and here's my 
William, why, he've more money in the funds than you'd 
think for, and fine houses and cottages, that bring him in — let's 
see — two hundred and twenty-five pounds a year, and a nice 
little farm for the wegitables, and he not to be thought such 
a gentleman as that ! " 

"Really, Mem," said Mr. Dent, "you must distinguish, 
Mem; there are different grades in society, Mem. First, 
there is the Church, and then the Navy and Army ; and you 
see, Mr. Rock is a gentleman by profession, and has as 
much right to go to court as any lord in the land ; and Miss 
Rock is the daughter of an officer, and though they're poor, 
yet she is a lady." 

"Never tell me about your ladies and gentlemen as hasn't 
got a coat to their backs," said the irate greengroceress ; 
" and them sailors and soldiers, with their uniforms, aint no 
better than livery servants — that's what I call 'um," 

" Never mind 'um, ma, they don't hurt me ; and, Mr. 
Dent, if you should hear any more about the concert, my 
voice is come out better than ever, now the rash is gone in." 

" I won't fail to let you know when anything is determined 
on, Miss 'Melia ; and I will say, for a sweet-tempered young 
lady, I don't know your equal, and so says Grinde to me 
only yesterday morning." 

This last observation softened away any bitterness which 
might have remained in the breasts of either of the female 
Cressys, and Mr. Dent took his leave triumphantly, having 
re-established his footing in the family, to whom he had pur- 
posely been silent as to the episode of the diamond ring. 

" Let's hope they won't hear of it," said he. 



8W*WBH 




CHAPTER XVII. 




" As she leans — the soft smile, half shut up in her eyes, 
Beams the sleepy, long, silk soft lashes beneath ; 
Through her crimson lips, stirred by her faint replies, 
Breaks one gleam of her pearl-white teeth." 

Owen Meredith. 

DIFFERENT scene was passing in the dressing- 
room of Lady Sarah, at Tregear. She sat before 
the glass, whilst her maid let down the rich braids 
of her still abundant and glossy light hair, and 
enjoyed the repeated passes made by the brush over its 
smooth surface. 

" I wonder, Stephens," said her ladyship to her maid, 
" whether horses like to be currycombed. I have fancied 
sometimes it would be very nice, if I were a horse." 

"Well really, Mum, I can't say; but the poor beasts 
kick and snort about for nothing if they do like it ; and 
then them grooms do pull their manes so, it makes my head 
ache to see it. Nasty rough brutes ! " 

Here there was a knock at the door, and a message from 
Mr. Tresillian, brought by his valet, to say that if Lady 
Sarah were awake he should be glad to be admitted. 

" You may go, and leave the hair till by-and-bye, Stephens," 
and the lady's maid slipped out of the room, gladly, to over- 
take the valet on the staircase. 

'" You look quite blooming, my lady mother, this morning. 
I came to thank you for the sacrifice you made for my popu- 
larity iast night. Never was a son blessed by a mother so 
thoughtful of his interests as I." 

" Ah ! my dear Wilfred, I confess it did give me a pang to 
part with that last remembrance of my poor dear Adelaide ; 
but what would I not do for my boy ? " and she shed two 



146 Sabina. 

graceful tears, without reddening her eyelids or the tip of 
her nose. Now Lady Sarah did not mean to deceive her 
son ; she was simply self deceived. 

"I do not mean that you should be a loser as to jewelry, 
though, of course, as far as sentiment goes, I am helpless to 
supply your loss. I have written to Rundall and Bridge for 
the emerald ring you admired so much. I hope it will be 
down by the end of the week, unless the thieves know of its 
coming, and rob the mail." 

"Dear Wilfred! how very shocking! How can you 
anticipate so dreadful a loss ! It was very generous in you 
to think of my little longing for that emerald." 

" On fair fingers, such as yours, no colour is so becom- 
ing," observed the gallant son. " But how did you like the 
concert ? " 

" Oh ! that girl's singing surpasses anything I ever heard, 
for beauty of tone and finished execution. I doat on music, 
and her voice, it is a treat to hear. The rest of the perform- 
ance of course was painfully stupid. How much longer must 
we stay here, my dear Wilfred ? Really, the evenings are 
dreary to a degree, though you do sacrifice to me at the 
eternal game of piquet. I .think we must hire that girl to 
sing to us." 

"The very thing! what a brilliant idea, my dear lady! 
Now I never should have thought of it ; but as to the ques- 
tion of hiring, the diamond ring will give you a claim on her 
services so long as I keep you in this dull neighbourhood." 

" How then can it be clone ? " inquired the lady, lan- 
guidly. " She is very beautiful," she continued in a medita- 
tive tone. 

" Oh ! as to beauty," continued her son, " I can see no 
loveliness in dark hair, when there is such opulence of 
light tresses before me," — taking up the rich folds of hair 
in his hand. " I feel quite proud of my mother's charms." 

"But as to this girl, Miss Rock. Catch this singing-bird 
for me, Wilfred. We will keep her so long as we stay here, 
and let her go when we return to town." 

" You will have to write a note to her or to Mr. Rock, 
and I will be the bearer of it," said Mr. Tresillian ; and 
thus it was decided. 

When Sabina awoke on the morning after the concert, 
she saw first the brilliant colours of the hothouse flowers, 



s 



Sabina. 147 

and all the scene and circumstances of her past triumph 
rushed upon her mind. Then she remembered the diamond 
ring, which she had locked up in a little wooden box, much 
scratched and faded, along with the Lisbon chains and 
golden cross ; but what she thought of most was the pressure 
of Mr. Tresillian's hand on hers as he had said good-night. 
She blushed, and thrilled at the recollection. 

She dressed herself with more than usual care. Poor little 
girl, her preparations were of necessity so simple. But she 
could put on her clean pink gingham dress, and a white 
collar. She hardly admitted to herself her expectation that 
Mr. Tresillian might call on her uncle that day ; but if he 
should, he would find her prepared for his reception. She 
brushed her dark curls carefully, and twisted them round 
her finger, and went down to make her uncle's breakfast, at 
eight o'clock. Nothing could be more poverty-stricken than 
all the circumstances by which she was surrounded ; yet her 
youth and beauty seemed to shed a glory round the room. 
There was the old sailor, scrupulously clean, and untainted 
in hair or clothes, by the loathsome smell of stale tobacco, 
which he held in utter abomination, and feeling a conviction 
that no smoker could ever be a gentleman. There was the 
pennyworth of milk for the dilution of the weak tea, for 
which no sugar was allowed, and the dry toast for Mr. Rock, 
whilst Sabina ate dry bread, — butter, being two shillings 
per pound, was beyond their means, and Susan declaring 
" 'Twas quite enough to toast for master, without toasting 
for Miss. On Mrs. Cleverly's small piano there was abun- 
dance of manuscript music. Sabina borrowed the printed 
music from Mr. Temple, and copied long, intricate pieces, 
which that spirited organist ordered and did not trouble 
himself to pay for. The copies were crowded into the 
smallest possible space, to save the sheets of penny music- 
paper. The stuff window-curtains, originally green, had 
faded into a dull yellow ; the bureau at which Mr. Rock 
wrote his letters and small accounts was stained with ink, 
though bearing the highest polish, the result of Susan's at- 
tention ; his old arm-chair had sunk into a miserable hollow 
in its seat, and the faded leather had worn into holes ; the 
others were of the commonest stained wood ; the carpet, 
never of a rich or lasting material, had been darned and 
redarned till the original pattern was a mystery, so many 



148 Sabina. 

penny balls of worsted had been used by Susan, and paid 
for by her out of her four pounds a-year wages. 

On this morning, Sabina had purchased an egg for her 
uncle, and on his reproaching her with her extravagance, 
she gaily declared that she would sell her diamond ring to 
pay for it, if he said much more on the subject. 

It was a very happy breakfast. Mr. Rock enjoyed his 
egg, and the remembrance of the last night's success. His 
delight was unbounded when, in the middle of the day, 
Lieutenant Orellan called, and asked his old messmate to 
take a turn on the quarter-deck, as they called the smoothest 
part of the parade ; — Mr. Orellan full of curiosity to learn 
some particulars of the previous evening, Mr. Rock all 
eagerness to pour out praises of his grand-niece. 

Some time after, there was a ring at the door. Sabina's 
heart beat fast ; she felt sure it must be Mr. Tresillian, be- 
cause he was the person she most wished to see. 

How long Susan was in answering the door ! Sabina 
heard her go to the drawer of the kitchen table, and knew 
she was going to put on a clean apron. On looking at her 
hands Susan decided that they were grimey, and went to 
the wash-house to clean them. In the meantime Mr. Tre- 
sillian rang again impatiently, and interrupted Susan just as 
she was half way up to her bed-room in search of the bonnet- 
box which held her new cap. " Drat the man ; he'll pull 
the bell down next," and abandoning the idea of the new 
cap, she descended and opened the door in her dirty one. 

Sabina breathlessly heard her say at once, " Mr. Rock is 
not at home, Sir." 

" Oh, Susan ! I could strangle you for that," said Sabina, 
but a well-known voice replied, 

" Miss Rock is at home, and I wish to see her I have a 
note from Lady Sarah to deliver to her." 

"Walk in, Sir," and Mr. Tresillian found himself in 
Sabina's presence. He looked very handsome — flushed 
with exercise — for he had ridden from Tregear very fast, 
and had put up his horse at the hotel, knowing that Mr. 
Rock had no one to hold it, and had then watched the 
walk of the two veterans, and waited till their backs were 
turned before he rang the bell — the second ring, and the 
impatient one, arose from the dread he felt lest they should 
see him on their turning. Luckily for him, they were too 



Sabina. 149 

deep in conversation to look up, and Mr. Tresillian entered 
the house unnoticed. 

" How beautiful she is ! " was his thought, as Sabina stood 
flushing and palpitating before him. 

'' How handsome he is without his hat," was Sabina's, as 
he pushed the light curls from his forehead ; those match- 
less rings of hair, which were so much like floss silk in 
everything but their superior elasticity ; these curled wilfully 
about the head of this young Adonis. 

" His amber- coloured locks in ringlets run 
With graceful negligence and shine against the sun." 

Dryden. 

"You charmed our ears and stole our hearts by your 
singing last night. My mother pines to hear you again." 

" Lady Sarah is very kind. She pained me by the magni- 
cence of her gift. There is so little I can do, I feel I shall 
never repay her." 

Somehow, both young people felt awkward. Sabina 
missed the pressure of Mr. Tresillian's fingers. He had not 
offered his hand on coming in. 

" My mother has sent you a note. May I sit down ? You 
have not offered me a chair." 

" Pray be seated." 

" Well — whilst you read your note." 

" Pray, are you looking at the various holes in the leather 
of my uncle's chair ? " 

" No," said Mr. Tresillian, looking up wickedly. " I was 
only thinking of the last time I sat there." 

"Yes?" said Sabina, looking uncomfortable. 

" Shall I remind you ? " said Wilfred. 

" No, pray do not," returned the girl, with her face in a 
flame. " I was a shameless, ill-conducted little wretch, and 
deserved to be kept on bread and water." 

Sabina might have added that such was not an unusual 
diet for her, though she did not partake of it as a punish- 
ment. 

" I often wish to recall past moments," said the gentle- 
man. 

"Spent with naughty children?" rejoined Sabina. 

" Yes ; but now, instead of your kneeling at my feet and 
embracing my knees, I should prefer reversing the positions. 



150 Sabina. 

Just read that note, and I will kneel to entreat a favourable 
answer." 

Sabina read, and her face lighted up more brilliantly from 
pleasure. 

Suddenly it clouded. " What is it ? " said Mr. Tresillian, 
answering the look. 

" Oh ! I should like to go so much, but I don't think I 
can. You see uncle — — " 

" Will not Mr. Rock permit you to accept my mother's 
invitation ? " 

" Oh, yes ! I am not thinking of his permission, but of 
his loneliness. You see, I am always here to make his 
breakfast." 

" Folks never feel that which they have always, to be a 
pleasure." 

" Probably not ; yet they miss it when it is gone." 

" Depend upon it, Miss Rock, if you leave your uncle, he 
Avill feel like Doctor Johnson's widower, ' afflicted, but re- 
lieved.' Remember that you hate his black, beady eyes, 
and the ugly hairs on the back of his hands." 

" I don't hate him at all, now. I think you are very un- 
kind, Mr. Tresillian, to remind me of it." 

" How can you wonder at this, Miss Rock? Remember 
that you entreated me to take you away to live with me ; 
and now, at the end of five years, having duly deliberated 
over the request, I assent to it, and you, like a capricious 
young lady, tell me that you cannot fulfil your part of the 
proposition." 

" Very true, Mr. Tresillian ; but you see I also have had 
five years to deliberate, and I have thought better of it. I 
still want five years of the period of discretion, but I have 
enough to make me decline." 

" Do you not like my mother ? " 

"Of course I do. She is very beautiful, and very gracious, 
and high bred ; besides being most kind in her manner to 
me." 

" Then I am driven on the horns of a dilemma ; either 
you dislike me, or you like me too much to trust yourself in 
the same house with me." 

" You should not say such things to me, Mr. Tresillian." 
Sabina thought about " breaking a butterfly upon the wheel," 
but could not quite remember the quotation. 



Sabina. 151 

" You are always right," he said, changing his bantering 
manner to one at once tender and respectful. 

''But do turn it over in your mind ; see if you can give 
pleasure to Lady Sarah without too much sacrifice of Mr. 
Rock's comfort. And here he is to answer for himself," he 
continued, as he heard the preparatory scrapings which an- 
nounced the advent of the old sailor, who was as anxious to 
free his shoes from any stray bit of gravel in dry weather, as 
from mud during the wet days. 

Sabina was glad that Mr. Orellan did not accompany her 
uncle into the house. The room was too small for four 
persons. The old man came forward to greet his visitor 
with naval frankness, not unmixed with dignity. He knew 
that he was a gentleman, though but a half-pay lieutenant, 
and as Mr. Dent had observed, with as good a right to go 
to Court as his wealthy acquaintance, the member for Deep- 
indale. 

Mr. Tresillian stated why he had done himself the honour 
of calling on Mr. Rock. Lady Sarah had sent by him a 
note requesting Miss Rock to favour her for a few days with 
her company at Tregear. Miss Rock, however, had seemed 
indisposed to comply with this request, fearing she might 
deprive Mr. Rock of the comfort of her presence. 

" A conceited little minx ! " said Mr. Rock, divided be- 
tween his delight at the honour of the invitation, and his 
loss of dignity by the supposition that he was dependent on 
Miss Rock for the comfort of his life. "I contrived to 
exist for sixty years before I saw that little chitty face of 
hers. It would be strange, if I could not spend a few days 
without seeing it. Allow me, then, to decide for my great- 
niece by accepting very gratefully her ladyship's kind offer." 

" In that case," said Mr. Tresillian, "my mother will send 
her carriage to fetch Miss Rock at any time you may think 
most convenient this afternoon." 

" Oh ! not to-day — not till to-morrow," said Sabina, with 
dismal forebodings as to her wardrobe. 

" Very well," replied the young gentleman, with a shrewd 
suspicion of the truth ; " to-morrow at three o'clock let it 
be ; " and not having any great desire to get into a political 
discussion with his constituent, Mr. Tresillian shook hands 
with Mr. Rock, and left the house, making only a sweep- 
ing bow to Sabina. 




CHAPTER XVIII. 

" I'll make this low dejected state 
Advance me to a greater height." 

Butler. 

j|R. ROCK was sorry Mr. Tresillian went so soon. 
He wanted to ask him a favour, not for himself, 
but for Lieutenant Orellan. That gentleman had 
listened with exemplary patience to all the praises 
lavished by her uncle on Sabina, on the account of her 
successes on the previous night; and had, in fact, been 
such a convert to the extent of her perfections, that Mr. 
Rock had been in the best of tempers, and being wrought 
up to this point, the crafty lieutenant preferred his peti- 
tion that Mr. Rock would mention to Mr. Tresillian, or 
Miss Rock to Lady Sarah, his great desire to obtain a 
command in the Coastguard. His friend Rock knew what 
his services had been. His certificates were all forthcom- 
ing. Would he not say a word for his old friend ? 

Mr. Rock said he would do so on the first opportunity, 
not expecting that talking of his Satanic majesty would 
evoke his presence so immediately. 

Had Mr. Tresillian remained a little longer Mr. Rock 
would have preferred his petition to the member, or would 
have tried to discover if he had any interest in the Ad- 
miralty ; but, when Mr. Tresillian had departed, the old man 
felt the difficulty greater than he had anticipated, of asking 
a favour even for a worthy object. He had never asked 
a favour for himself. In this dilemma he thought of Lady 
Sarah, and whether Sabina, poor child, could be made to 
understand the subject sufficiently to explain what was re- 
quired to that lady. 



Sab ina. 153 

" Of what are you thinking, uncle ? " 

" I wish Mr. Tresillian had not been in such a hurry, 
my dear." 

"I wasn't sorry that he went," said Sabina, whose 
thoughts wandered to Mr. Milford's shop, and to the 
materials for another evening dress. "All that's bright 
must fade," thought the girl, and that seems particularly 
applicable to the purity of white muslin dresses. 

" Did you want him to stay for anything in particular?" 
continued Sabina. 

" Why, yes, my dear. Orellan has been speaking to me 
about — asking me, in fact, to see if Mr. Tresillian has any 
interest which he might make available for Orellan's benefit 
at the Admiralty. Orellan wants a command on the Coast- 
guard station." 

" There is no coast here, nothing but a river, and a very 
small one too." 

" You goose, 'tis not here that he wants it. He would 
leave Deepindale." 

" Go away from Deepindale ! Why, uncle ! who would 
play chess with you in the evenings ? " 

Mr. Rock was rather taken aback by this view of the 
case. He had not thought how dreary would be those 
hours in the future which had, for years, been spent with 
his old companion. He cleared his throat. " I should be 
a selfish old brute not to help Orellan to a good turn, 
because by so doing I should lose his society." 

" Disagreeable old man ! I hate him ! " said Sabina. 

" My dear ! " exclaimed Mr. Rock, much disturbed by 
his niece's vehemence, when he wished her to do the 
lieutenant a good turn, " I assure you though he may 
have been unpleasant in his observations on you formerly, 
he has a great regard for you, and a high opinion of your 
musical talents." 

Sabina laughed a little scornful laugh. " How long has 
that opinion existed, uncle? Ever since he hoped to 
please you, and obtain through your influence a Coast- 
guard appointment," she continued. " But don't be vexed, 
dear old man ! " kissing his bald head. " Do you wish me 
to ask Mr. Tresillian the question you failed to ask him 
yourself? " 

This was coming to the root of the matter at once. 



154 Sabina. 

Mr. Rock did wish it — and did not. He wanted the ques- 
tion to be asked, but asked of Lady Sarah. 

"Yes, I might ask her ladyship," said Sabina slowly, 
"but I fear she would not understand much about it — it 
would be really asking Mr. Tresillian." 

" Then perhaps you had better leave it alone," said her 
uncle. 

Mr. Rock did not like to ask the member to call on 
him ; he thought of hiring a carriage to go to Tregear, 
but then, the expense ! Sabina saw his trouble, and 
determined to take her own way in the business, so she 
said no more. She had enough to occupy her in the 
preparation of another muslin dress, with pale pink satin 
ribbons this time : and Susan had some of the gingham 
frocks washed. Those washing dresses are so delightfully 
clean. Every article of her habiliments, excepting her 
shoes, admitted of incessant ablutions, and needed them, 
for she was always having some misfortune with her 
clothes, arising from excessive carelessness. 

When Mr. Orellan came that evening he heard of the pro- 
jected visit to Tregear, and tried to manufacture some awk- 
ward compliments for Sabina's edification, which that young 
lady could not listen to without impatience. Luckily, he 
did not know that Mr. Tresillian had called that morning 
on Mr. Rock, yet he looked wistfully at his old friend, as 
if he would have said, " Rock ! have you turned over in 
your own mind the best way of attacking the great man ? " 
Now, Rock was troubled by his own thoughts on the subject 
— as much troubled as was his old messmate ; so both men 
played so indifferently that Sabina exploded in a peal of 
laughter, as she looked over the game, on which both players 
rose angrily, and reproached her for her bad manners, though 
they mentally admitted that they neither had played with 
their usual skill. 

"An infernal little chit ! " was the thought of Mr. Orellan. 
" But I must hold my tongue, as she is a favourite at 
Tregear." 

They could not settle themselves to the game after 
Sabina's ill-bred laughter ; and both were glad to push aside 
the board for the whisky and gruel which concluded the 
evening. Each, as they stirred their beverage, was silent, 
intent on the Coastguard service; whilst Sabina's pulse 



Sabina. 155 

quivered and danced at die thought of seeing Mr. Tresillian 
again on the following day. 

" Oh, Susan ! what can I do for a box ? " said that young 
lady, breaking into Susan's room when that sleepy old 
woman had just deposited her cap on her looking-glass — a 
glass which was the best in the house. Susan had possessed 
beauty in her youth, and could not forget the lost treasure. 
Even at fifty-two she used to stretch her large white arms 
before that little glass, and rejoice in their round whiteness, 
interspersed with delicate blue veins. It is true that the 
whiteness existed only from the elbow to the shoulder ; for 
in those forgotten days a servant in long sleeves could not 
have been found in the United Kingdom. " About a box to 
hold my clothes to take to Tregear ? " 

" There's your uncle's great chest, and the old portman- 
teau, Miss, and " And she looked at her own deal box, 

containing all her worldly goods. " I could empty 'em on 
to the floor, and put a cloth over them." 

" Thank you, Susan," said Sabina, in a depressed tone ; 
" I fear it would not do. There will be the muslin dresses, 
you know." 

"There's your uncle's sea-chest " 

Sabina knew it well. It might have contained herself. It 
was covered with old leather, from which the hair had been 
rubbed off in patches, and bound with iron, now eaten out 
with rust. Sabina thought of the footman's efforts to lift it 
on the carriage, and of the impossibility of its being placed 
there. Her father's old portmanteau was in pieces. She 
gave it up in despair. She must go out in the morning, and 
buy something. How she blessed Lady Sarah for that 
memorable twenty pounds, which bridged over her difficulties 
so pleasantly ! 

When the midday had passed, the carriage drove up, and 
Sabina, kissing her uncle tenderly, who had come to the 
door to see her off, proud and pleased at the honour done 
his niece, sprang into it, and was whirled away amidst 
the wonder and envy of the inhabitants of Deepindale, and 
the rage of the grown-up young ladies at Miss Wise's esta- 
blishment, who had not thought Sabina of sufficient rank 
to be entitled to play with them in their childhood. 

"When will you come back?" her uncle had said to his 
niece. 



156 Sabina. 

"Whenever you like, uncle." 

" They said a few days. You had better stay so long as 
they ask you. Perhaps you might find out when Mr. Tre- 
sillian is likely to come into the town." 

" I will let you know, my uncle." 

When the carriage drove up to the portico of the great 
house, one of the liveried servants informed Sabina that my 
lady was walking in the grounds ; would Miss Rock wait in 
the drawing-room, or follow Lady Sarah ? Sabina preferred 
the latter ; and after asking the way, and hearing that her 
ladyship had walked in the direction of the lake, which 
was seen glimmering through the trees in the glory of the 
autumn sun, the girl went off gaily over the soft turf to 
look for her. 

She soon found, however, that she was deceived as to the 
facility with which she had hoped to find her. The lake 
was large and irregular, and when Sabina thought she had 
come to its confines, and might go round it, it branched off 
again into a large space, fringed with rushes and flags. 
Worse than this, she had got on low ground, and could not 
see the house. She was lost amongst the bulrushes. She 
looked anxiously for her feet, which were buried in the 
tall, rank grass. " Oh, my new boots ! if they get wet ! " 
said Sabina. And fancy painted the new treasures soaked 
with moisture, and placed so close to the laundry fire as to 
be " shrivelled like a parched scroll." 

"lam like the little fairy who was lost in an asparagus- 
bed," thought the girl. " I wish I were safely out of this. 
But the water comes so unexpectedly wherever I put my 
feet. I wonder whether anyone will think of my being 
lost in the park !— whether Lady Sarah or Mr. Tresillian will 
inquire if I have arrived, and send out after me ? I'll scream 
for help ! " And she screamed, " Help ! Help ! " But her 
voice sounded so like the cry of one of the water-fowl, that 
she would have laughed had she not been more disposed to 
cry. Presently, she heard the discharge of a gun, and one 
bird fell near her, in the midst of the covey, which whirred 
away over her head. She stooped, and picked up the par- 
tridge, thankful that it had ceased to struggle. 

"In, Dash!" cried Mr. Tresillian to his retriever; and 
the dog bounded to the spot where Sabina stood, and 
snuffed about the ground where the bird had fallen. Curious 



Sabina. 157 

to see why he did not return, Mr. Tresillian strode over the 
flags, and came down to the spot where Sabina stood, with 
the bird in her hand, looking rather foolish. 

" Upon my word, Miss Rock ! " said he, " I did not kill 
my bird that you might poach it. I have lost one before. 
Do you particularly desire to have a brace for your especial 
eating ? — perhaps to be served up with asparagus. I really 
suspect you have the companion bird in your pocket. 1 ' 

" How can you, Mr. Tresillian ? Oh, dear ! I am like 
Christian in the Slough of Despond : I cannot move with- 
out sinking into this horrid soft turf, which is not turf, but 
water covered with weeds." 

'• Remain where you are," said Mr. Tresillian. "It does 
not matter whether my shooting-boots are wet, or not." And 
he strode over to her, and lifted her in his arms like a child. 
"The second time, I think," said he, "that I have had to 
do you this good turn," looking up confidently in her face, 
which was necessarily so near his own. " The last time, 
however, you seemed more grateful than you appear dis- 
posed to be at present." 

" Oh ! " said Sabina, blushing at the recollection how, on 
a former occasion, she had clung round his neck, and kissed 
him — "it was so dark then, and I was so frightened." 

"Then if it were dark, and you were frightened now, the 
same amount of gratitude might be exhibited in the same 
manner," said Mr. Tresillian. 

" It is not quite kind," said the girl, with a little tremor 
in her voice, "to talk to me like that. You know I was a 
naughty little girl then. Cannot you put me down now ? " 

" Certainly, if I put you into the soft mud." 

She said no more, though she thought he picked out the 
worst part of the surface instead of the firmest. In truth, he 
was strong, and the slight weight of the girl did not incom- 
mode him, and he enjoyed the sensation of holding her in 
his arms. At length he set her down on terra firma, and 
without taking the kiss from those ripe, red lips which were 
so near his own. The gamekeeper was seen toiling along 
under his well-replenished bag, and he came up to his master 
to receive the partridge which he believed him to have hit. 

'• I shall demand my payment on another occasion," said 
the gentleman. 

" I came out to look for Lady Sarah," observed Sabina, 



158 Sabina. 

taking no notice, and pretending not to hear the observation, 
which made her cheek glow to a deeper red. 

" I think Lady Sarah has probably returned to the house," 
said her son ; " but whether or no, I shall not allow you to 
be wandering about here, sinking into Sloughs of Despond. 
Were those funny little squeaks I heard, your cries for help ? 
I imagined that I was about to find some rara avis on the 
lake utterly unknown to ornithologists. There ! will you 
take my arm, or get over the ground by yourself?" 

" By myself, if you please." 

" Quite right. ' Help yourself, and your friends will love 
you the better ; ' also, ' Heaven helps those who help them- 
selves.' " 

" I think it is very disagreeable and ungenerous in you to 
be vaunting the praise of independence, when you must 
know that I feel so humiliated by being pulled out of the 
mud by you." 

" Ah ! but the proverbs really only apply to men, not to a 
beautiful, helpless girl," said her companion, turning on her 
the glory of his radiant blue eyes. "You may demand aid 
as often as you please, and I shall only think myself too 
happy to be able to afford it." 

" Now is my time for Mr. Orellan," said Sabina to her- 
self; but the thought of what she was about to ask drove 
every tint of colour from her cheeks. 

He saw this, and fancying she was suddenly taken ill, he 
approached her with the greatest tenderness. 

"What is it? Are you fatigued? Ah! I have some 
sherry in my flask," cried he, taking it from his pocket. 

Sabina stopped him. 

" It is nothing. I shall be well in another minute." And 
she made up her mind to put off the evil moment till later 
in the evening. 

" Go into the drawing-room," said Wilfred, on reaching 
the house ; " and I will look for my mother." 

So Sabina, in her gingham dress, straw hat, and French 
veil, was turned into that luxurious apartment. 

" How beautiful is wealth ! " said the girl, looking long- 
ingly at the grand piano, covered with pieces of loose music, 
and surrounded with a confusion of music-books. She 
turned to look around her, and saw her little person reflected 
in the large looking-glass which had deceived her as to her 



Sabina. 159 

identity five years before. How rich were the folds of the 
damask curtains ! how moss-like the pile of the luxurious 
carpet ! how cunningly inlaid were the various woods in the 
polished tables ! She thought of her uncle's little sitting- 
room, of the shabby carpet, the faded curtains, the inky 
table, and repined, " Why should my poor dear uncle have 
so little, and these rich folks have so much ? " 

But fifteen is not given to moralise long. There were 
ornamental books on the table — Swiss, and Italian, and 
Spanish views — and Sabina began to turn them over, as she 
stood by the centre table ; but becoming absorbed, she 
seated herself in one of the luxurious chairs, and pushing 
back her hat, gave herself up to the enjoyment of so many 
novelties. 

Sabina's father had accompanied Sir John Moore in the 
retreat towards Corunna, and she was looking intently at an 
engraving of the ascent of the pine-clad Nogales, and 
picturing to herself the toilsome march of the troops over 
the snow-covered mountain, when Mr. Tresillian returned, 
and she gave a long sigh and closed the book. 

" What has engaged your attention so deeply ? I was in 
the room for a minute or two without your perceiving me." 

" I was looking at this Spanish landscape, and thinking of 
my father." 

" Why ? Did he serve in Spain ? " 

" Yes ; and my mother used to tell me about the events 
of that disastrous retreat, and how my father took a living 
infant from the breast of its dead mother, and bore it away 
in his bosom. Poor papa ! my memory of his handsome 
face and carefully tied hair, which seems to me so indistinct 
and dreamy, acquires consistency when I see pictures of the 
scenes through which he passed." 

Thus spoke Sabina, who was as proud of her father and 
her uncle in their valour and unblemished honour, poor as 
they were, and ever had been, as Mrs. Cressy was of her 
husband's self-made wealth. 

Mr. Tresillian wished to please his mother's little guest, 
and took her to his own sitting-room, against the wall of 
which was suspended the engraving from the picture of the 
death of Sir John Moore. 

" How proud," said Sabina, " Doctor Moore must have 
been of his son ! " 



1 60 Sab inn. 

" And of the children of his brain also," added Mr. 
Tresillian. " Have you read ' Zeluco,' and ' Edward ? ' " 

Sabina had not ; and Mr. Tresillian went to the library, 
to fetch a volume of the first-named novel. 

" Come with me," he said, " that you may know your way 
another time." And following him to the finely-arranged 
bookshelves, Sabina was wonder-stricken at the number of 
volumes, and the beauty of their bindings. 

" What a beautiful collection of books ! They look 
though as if no one ever read them," cried Sabina, with a 
keen recollection of the tattered " Anecdotes of Naval 
History," "Cook's Voyages," and her own much-read 
volume of " Campbell's Poems." 

"Don't be so satirical, Miss Rock. Remember we are 
not often here, and my mother prefers the contents of the 
boxes of books, which the mail brings from the London 
libraries, to these, which are old and dry for the most part." 

" Do you think so ? May 1 take down this beauty dressed 
in green morocco? — 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel!' I 
should so like to read it." 

" Take any you like." 

" She is intelligent, and easily amused," was his reflection, 
and he thought she would be very fresh and nice for him to 
come home to, when he had established her in a small house, 
or convenient lodgings in London. 

" Was there no pity, no relenting ruth," in Mr. Tresillian's 
mind ? 

No more than exists in the breast of the farmer, who looks 
at the lamb on which he intends to regale himself at Easter. 
Its perfections give him the pleasure of anticipation. 

Mr. Tresillian meant to be very careful in not allowing 
Lady Sarah to suspect his intentions. She was an indolent 
lady, with no very lively ideas of religion or morality, but a 
deliberate intention to seduce an innocent young lady, be- 
cause she was poor, and but slightly protected by an aged 
uncle, would have made her feel that " dear Wilfred was 
decidedly wrong," the utmost stretch of which her indigna- 
tion was capable. 

He was, therefore, cautiously polite to the young guest, 
but nothing more in his mother's presence. Sabina wondered 
that his manner became so chilly, and thought she might 
have offended him. 



Sabina. 1 6 1 

" And I have not asked him about Mr. Orellan yet," she 
said to herself, meditatively. 

The dinner was rather a silent one, for the mother and 
son had no subjects in common with Sabina, and were too 
well-bred to start any in which she could not join. 

After dinner Lady Sarah settled herself to sleep on the 
sofa, and thus was found when Mr. Tresillian came from his 
solitary devotions to the wine and dessert. Sabina in her 
white muslin concert dress looked very lady-like, and by no 
means out of place in the superb drawing-room. The dinner 
had been late, and the evening seemed melting away, and 
with her mind wandering to her uncle's fireside and to his 
companion, she felt guilty that she had not spoken about the 
Coastguard. "lamas bad as Joseph's chief butler," she 
thought, " and have not remembered my uncle's wishes, in 
the midst of this magnificence." Then she fancied him with 
the cup of gruel, made palatable only by a little salt, and Mr. 
Orellan's glass of steaming whisky. She had often attempted 
to pour a few drops into the gruel, but it was too great an in- 
dulgence, her uncle had said — he could not afford it. And here 
was Lady Sarah expecting an emerald ring, which was to cost 
more than Mr. Rock had to meet his year's expenditure. 

"Will you play a little on the piano?" said Mr. Tresillian, 
after he had noiselessly offered her some coffee. He wanted 
to sit near her, and the piano was behind Lady Sarah's 
sofa ; so that, if she opened her eyes, she could not observe 
the juxtaposition, should Mr. Tresillian stand a little too 
near the music-stool. Sabina went at once to the instru- 
ment, and seated herself. She could play by ear without 
any effort, and she was hoping to bring the conversation 
round to the Coastguard, should Mr. Tresillian talk to her. 

He stood by her in silence for some minutes, listening to 
her delicate touch of the instrument, and observing the ex- 
quisite contour of her dimpled shoulders and bosom. Her 
fingers wandered over the keys in " wanton heed and giddy 
cunning," with the charm which a true genius for music and 
that only can inspire. Then she began to sing softly, lest 
her voice should awake Lady Sarah. 

" My love is lord of lofty halls, 

Which crown the woodland steep ; 
In valleys where the streamlet falls, 
I tend my father's sheep. 

TI 



1 62 Sabina. 

"The youth forsook the higher land 
To drink the crystal wave ; 
And as he scooped it in his hand 
The stream my image gave. 

" 'Oh, maiden, yield to me that flower 

That's placed thy vest within.' 
' That lily flower is all my dower, 

And that thou may'st not win.' 

" He turned his stately head aside, 
Too proud to sue in vain, 
And I in sorrow now abide 
That he sues not again." 

When she had finished her song, in which each word was, 
as usual with her singing, clearly enunciated, Mr. Tresillian 
laughed a little low laugh, and looked at her with eyes brim- 
ming with fun. 

"The moral is, never to take no for an answer," said he. 

"I do not know. I never thought of a moral. Tis a 
translation from the Spanish which my mother used to sing, 
but if you were asked to do anything you did not much like 
to do, would you do it, like the wicked judge, for much 
entreating ? " said Sabina, talking very fast, with her tongue 
beginning to cleave to the roof of her mouth. 

Mr. Tresillian was puzzled by the change in her colour 
and tone. 

" I do not know. I fear I am not very yielding to en- 
treaties," he said gravely; " but why do you ask? " 

" I'll tell you. I want you to do something — something 
disagreeable, perhaps ; for me — no, for my uncle — no, for 
Mr. Orellan. He wants a command in the Coastguard." 

Mr. Tresillian was silent, and the silence continued so 
long that Sabina felt her heart throbbing so violently that 
she fancied she heard it. 

"Did your uncle desire you to ask me?" 

" No," replied the girl hurriedly ; " but I knew he wished 
to ask you himself, had you stayed longer yesterday morn- 
ing ; and I saw, too, that the idea of asking you vexed him. 
He has never asked favours in all his life for himself, but 
Mr. Orellan begged him to mention the subject to you, so I 
thought I would take the pain on myself." 

"Does it give you so much pain to ask a favour of me?" 
said the gentleman, tenderly stealing his hand over to the 



Sabina. 163 

shoulder farthest from him, and reaching the girl gently to- 
wards him. 

She arose, and freed herself from him. 

" Yes, it is very painful," she said. She fancied he treated 
her like a child ; " but," she continued, smiling, " it will 
not be painful if you can get from the Admiralty what my 
uncle wants ; but perhaps you do not know Lord Melville ; 
perhaps you cannot do it ? " 

" I have no doubt I can do it, provided Mr. Orellan's 
career will bear investigation," said the gentleman ; " and 
I am sure it can do this, or he would not be your uncle's 
friend." 

Sabina looked so beautiful with her brown eyes full of 
pleasant tears, that he longed to kiss them away. She was 
more grateful for this unpremeditated compliment to her 
uncle from Mr. Tresillian than she had been to Lady Sarah 
for the diamond ring. 

" Oh ! Mr. Tresillian," she said, kissing his hand, which 
was outstretched towards the piano to turn over the leaves 
of the music, " how good and kind you have always been to 
me. I love you so much ! " 

She said this with a childish impulse which was very 
mortifying to her companion. She might love him, but had 
she been in love she would not have stated the fact so 
openly ; however, he was not going to allow such an oppor- 
tunity to pass unimproved, and he stooped and kissed her 
cheek kindly, but not in a way to alarm her. ." My child," 
he said, " I will do what I can for your uncle's friend, and 
so you may tell him when you see him." 

It was time that the interview, confidential as it was, 
should cease, for the footman entered with sherry and soda 
water, and with him came bounding in a young poodle, 
escaped from the caresses of the young ladies and the 
governess. Lady Sarah sat up, and concealed a quiet yawn 
at the conclusion of her nap, and caressed the puppy with 
the indolent kindness she felt to every sentient creature. 

Then she called on Sabina to sing, and was delighted 
to find that she knew and could pour forth a succession 
of those melodies which had delighted Lady Sarah's 
youth : — 

" Oh, say not woman's heart is bought 
By vain and empty treasure ; " 



164 Sabina. 

was sung by Sabina with exquisite tenderness ; and the 
repetition of the line, " She loves and loves for ever," 
Sabina executed with a delightful cadence which excited 
the admiration of her auditors. The music recalled her 
youth to Lady Sarah ; for " music is the language of 
memory," as one of the most charming of composers, 
Mozart, designated it, and Lady Sarah, who had pru- 
dently and placidly wedded her deceased lord for his 
wealth and title, still had a soft regret for a handsome 
youth, who had neither to offer at the shrine of beauty; 
he had hung over her enamoured, when in a delicate 
girlish voice she had sung that song, and he had hoped 
she would fulfil the expectations it excited, and remain 
unmarried for his sake till her hair had become gray and 
her beauty faded. He had left his body in the trenches 
of Seringapatam, and his form lived in the memory of 
his friends, an image of beauty and youth and valour. 

" The hero boy who died in blooming years, 
He lives in man's regret, and woman's tears." 

Had he come unscathed from that human hecatomb, he 
might have broken the spell of memory by becoming 
middle-aged, stout, and bottled-nosed. 

There was a marked similarity of character between Lady 
Sarah and her son, allowing for the differences of sex : her 
ladyship was passively selfish — Mr. Tresillian actively so. 

" Narcissa's nature, tolerably mild, 
To make a wash would hardly stew a child," 

And her ladyship being sweet tempered, her selfishness was 
softened by the placidity of her disposition. Mr. Tresillian 
rushed to his object, regardless of the wounds and bruises 
he inflicted on others in attaining it. His mother, quite as 
intent on her own gratification, obtained it with such an 
amount of apologies to the people she incommoded in her 
progress, that they made way for her willingly, even to their 
own hindrance. She liked Sabina for the admiration so 
genuinely expressed by her of Lady Sarah's beauty during 
Sabina's visit to Tregear in her childhood. She loved music 
honestly, and found this girl to minister to the gratification 
of her taste with no trouble to her ladyship. She had her 



Sabina. 165 

little plans too, which she did not confide to her son, of 
taking the girl to town next season, and introducing her as 
her protege in the musical world. It would reflect such 
glory on herself, she thought, if she turned out a success ; if 
she did not, she might be easily dropped again quietly at 
Deepindale, or recommended as a governess, or a lady's 
maid. 

If her ladyship had seen a little girl come through a crowd 
of horses and carriages, to offer early flowers, at her carriage- 
window, she would have taken the flowers, and thought 
nothing of the risk the child would run of being trodden to 
death before she could return. Sabina must take care of 
herself. Lady Sarah stood now by the side of the piano 
whilst Sabina was singing, and turned the leaves of the 
music book when the song was concluded. The beautiful 
glee arrested her attention, " Oh happy fair," and she 
pointed to it ; on which Sabina began : her ladyship took 
the second, and Mr. Tresillian the bass voice. Sabina's 
love of music and delicacy of ear, more than any feeling of 
subserviency to her companions, made her sink the power 
of her voice, lest, as she afterwards told Mr. Rock, it should 
swallow up their notes, as did the lean kine of Pharaoh the 
fat cattle in his dream ; and the lady and her son liked the 
girl all the more for having made them pleased with them- 
selves. Whilst they had been occupied by the music, they 
had been utterly unmindful of the pranks of the poodle, 
whose movements fell noiselessly on the thick pile of the 
carpet, and who had rolled himself in the valuable lace 
shawl, which had fallen from the stately white shoulders of 
the lady when she stretched out her hand to turn the leaves 
of the music book. When, at the conclusion of the song, 
she turned to leave the instrument, she saw to her dismay 
the poodle on his back, swathed round and round in 
Brussels lace, from which he was trying to free himself, 
regardless of the rich fabric which he tore with teeth and 
claw, and which fluttered in ribbons round his agitated 
body. " Oh, my veil ! my veil ! Wilfred, look at that 
wretch ! " Wilfred laughed, and he and Sabina stooped at 
the same moment, the girl seizing the jaws of the animal 
and Mr. Tresillian the fore paws, on which the hind feet 
kicked themselves clear of the delicate texture by repeated 
jerks, much to its detriment. 



1 66 Sab ina. 

Mr. Tresillian caught up the offender, and Sabina the 
veil, now become somewhat like a cullender. Lady Sarah 
looked exceedingly grieved. 

" Never mind, my lady," said her son, " I will give you 
another." 

" Another ! my dear Wilfred, how you talk ! Men never 
know anything," said her ladyship, plaintively. "Why, 
that veil belonged to your father's grandmother, and to his 
mother, Lady Trelusa. The price given for it, originally, 
was seven hundred pounds, and I paid eighty-four pounds 
to have it repaired when it came into my possession. Such 
a one could not now be purchased. Really, my dear Wil- 
fred, that dog shall be hanged, or given away. That girl 
has no business to bring dogs to my house." And then she 
stopped, knowing that the house really belonged to " that 
girl's " father ; and that she was there on sufferance, though 
with her own establishment of servants and horses. 

It was Sabina who spoke next. Mr. Tresillian was sorry 
that he had vexed his mother by underrating her loss, and 
by the ignorance shown by his offer of replacing the veil. 
" I think, Ma'am," she said, timidly, " I could mend the 
veil, if you will allow me." 

" You ! " said Lady Sarah. " My dear, you are very good 
to say so, but I think your offer is as wild as Wilfred's." 

" I can do lace-work — imitation, I mean. I have a collar 
I can show your ladyship." And she left the room. What 
a comfort, to avoid the necessity of lighting a candle ! for, 
with the enviable privilege of wealth, every portion of the 
large mansion was brilliantly lighted. So she returned with 
a pretty lace-collar, on which Sabina's clever fingers had 
imitated all the stitches in the celebrated lace-veil spoken of 
before, in tearing which she had, as she thought, revenged 
herself on her uncle for her enforced attention to the church 
service. 

" This is very wonderful ! " said Lady Sarah. " Did you 
really do this ? How very well you work ! And they charged 
me over eighty pounds for such small tearings only where the 
pins had rent it, or the brooches." 

"Probably the menders charge for their time," said 
Sabina. " It is not so very difficult when one once gets into 
the way of doing it ; only tedious." 

" Then, will you mend this ? " 



Sabina. 167 

" Certainly, Lady Sarah ; when I can get some thread 
sufficiently fine." 

" I will send to London for some." 

Sabina said nothing, and soon after the trio separated for 
the night. 

A charming room had been prepared for Sabina on that 
night. Its furniture bore the unmistakable marks of 
wealthy generations gone by. An old-fashioned tortoise- 
shell clock, inlaid with gold, ornamented the white marble 
chimney-piece, over which was inserted, in the panel, an oil- 
painting, well executed, of King Cophetua and the beggar 
maiden. 

The artist had disdained the usual artifice of contrast be- 
tween the countenance of a doating old man and a beautiful 
young woman. The king he had represented as a model of 
manly grace, whose vestments of purple and fine gold con- 
trasted with the fluttering rags of the beggar-girl whom he 
embraced. He might have been Prior's " Solomon Raising 
Abra from his feet to his arms." The girl was dark as to her 
eyes and her flowing tresses, and beautiful in " her lovesome 
mien." 

" How happy the king must be ! and how very happy the 
girl ! " thought Sabina, who gazed at the pair, till her brain 
became dizzy and her heavy eyes closed in sleep, as the 
firelight leapt up and sank again repeatedly, now revealing 
the picture and its gilded framework, and now shrouding all 
in shadow. 




8i!v^l 


mgfuf^vffi 








CHAPTER XIX. 

" Yet whilst you breathe away, the rural wilds 
Invite — the mountains call you, and the vales, 
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze 
Which fans the ever undulating sky." 

|HEN the clock struck five next morning, the unusual 
sound of a timepiece in her room dispelled the 
mists of sleep from Sabina's eyes, and she tossed 
aside her opulence of dark curling hair, and sat 
up, to consider a plan she had formed in her mind on the 
previous night. 

The realities of luxury with which she was surrounded, did 
but bring to her mind in stronger contrast the poverty of her 
uncle's dwelling, and filled her with unspeakable tender- 
ness towards him. She remembered that Susan, whose eyes 
were not as good as in former days, often brought in his 
slices of toast with little bits of smut-flakes fluttering at their 
points, when she had reposed her weary arm, by resting the 
bread on the bars of the kitchen grate. In this case, her 
uncle, who was scrupulously clean, used to send away his 
breakfast in disgust ; and Sabina had had the habit of going 
into the kitchen, and making it herself, under the pretence 
that she was cold, and that Mr. Rock did not like to see her 
cowering over the sitting-room fire. 

Sabina looked, and meditated, and became impatient of 
the magnificence by which she was surrounded, and de- 
termined to find a door in her gilded cage through which 
she might take flight to Deepindale for a few hours. 

The newly-risen autumn sun was gleaming in long lines of 
light through the opening of the massive damask curtains, 
which were drawn to exclude its rays, and Sabina sprang 



Sabina. 169 

out of bed, and put them back, and gazed with delight 
on the scene before her. " Oh, how grand ! how very- 
beautiful ! I don't care for all the rest, but how delicious it 
would be to live always in a park ! " she cried, as she-observed 
the massive clumps of trees, of which the foliage was but 
tinted with the glow of autumn, and had as yet lost none of 
its density. The sun illuminated the solid summits of the 
trees with golden light, whilst the park at their base was 
bathed in mist. Further out in the distance, the same 
landscape was repeated, diversified by hill and valley, and 
purpled by distance, whilst spread out like a wavering sheet 
of silver, the lake gave up its curling wreaths of white vapour. 
Nothing broke the silence save the twitter of a few half- 
awakened birds, or, occasionally, the lowing of distant 
cattle. 

Sabina, having looked long and earnestly on this picture, 
now observed what made the framework of it ; the carved 
tracery of the window, and the rich stained glass which 
seemed to nestle in the intricacies of the oak, like birds of 
gorgeous plumage in the dark branches of trees. Orange, 
purple, crimson, and green, shot bright arrows of light from 
each pane, tinted with the colour through which they had 
passed, and played fantastic dances on the surface of the 
damask curtain. , - , 

Sabina arose, f bre/ contented herself with the abundant 
supply of cold wa ! le^^er room, as she knew no servants 
would be up at th" .tei to substitute that fluid even in its 
tepid state. ! a,' ia t 

"Probably Susien^ not up yet," she thought, as she 
dressed herself. it*> 

With the elastic figure and fresh beauty of youth, her 
ablutions over, her toilette was soon made. Cold water was 
the only application necessary for that smooth, stainless 
skin ; and the comb, passed through her curling hair, gave it 
all the gloss necessary for its adornment. She shook her 
clothes over that lithe and delicate figure, and the result was, 
that she was dressed without the pressure or padding of 
corsets, without the application of rouge or pearl-powder. 

The boots were not wet, thanks to the care with which 
Air. Tresillian had lifted her on the preceding day. She went 
down, but met with an unexpected difficulty at the door. 
She could not remove those massive and intricate fastenings. 



i7° Sab ina. 

Were she to descend into the unknown regions of the 
servants, she should probably be met by the same impedi- 
ments at the back of the house. She went into one of the 
drawing-rooms, and managed to find the spring which con- 
fined the shutter, and, by a great effort, to lift the heavy 
sash. That done, she sprang out, alighting on the soft turf, 
and sped away to Deepindale. " I shall be back again after 
I have given Mr. Rock his breakfast," she thought, " and 
long before Lady Sarah leaves her room." 

She felt as if she had wings as she flew over the park, 
scattering the herds of deer which had reposed under the 
sheltering woods. How fresh and sweet the air seemed ! 
She went through the beech plantation, and saw in the dis- 
tance Mr. Tresillian's retreat. Ah ! how handsome he was ! 
how very nice and kind ! She paused for a few moments, 
and looked at the building, meditating on the perfections of 
its owner, and wondered whether he was sleeping still, and 
how he looked with his eyes shut ; and the remembrance of 
his kindness to her uncle led her thoughts to that dear old 
head which would soon be leaving its pillow, if he had not 
already dashed above it the large pail of cold water, on the 
surface of which he had in winter to break the ice before he 
poured its contents over him, as he stood in a large tub, and 
gave involuntary jumps and gasps at thf chill produced by 
this inartificial shower-bath. 

Mr. Rock had been warned that, i.^i Su ?tate °* ms ^ eart ' 
such shocks might kill him ; but he"^ en ved, that in his 
opinion, if a man could not live clearly fl; had better die 
clean ; so he continued his customary anxious. 

Everything seemed fragrant to Sabiir| n till she entered 
the purlieus of Deepindale. The hedges of the high road 
along which she passed were hung with the feathery seeds 
of the briony, and were lilac with the bloom of the black- 
berry. The smell of the moist earth was pleasant to the 
girl as she passed on. It was different when she reached 
the town. Congregations of the human species are not 
agreeable in the odours that surround their habitations in the 
early morning, unless those habitations have been designed 
for, and appropriated by, the wealthy. Sabina trod care- 
fully over the noisome gutters, not to soil her boots. Few 
shutters were taken down; but half-awakened maids, with 
dirty caps stuck askew on their heads, were lazily beating 



Sabina. 171 

their mats and bits of carpet, covering themselves with an 
atmosphere of dust, which made faces and caps still more 
begrimed. Mr. Cressy's boy was taking the pony from the 
stable to fetch the vegetables from the farm, and looked 
curiously at Sabina as she passed. " She had soon been 
sent back from the great house," he thought. " No carriage 
this time. She looks quite brisk, though, not a bit down- 
hearted," gazing after her as she tripped along towards 
Haven House. She went round by the back door, and 
sprang into the kitchen, just as Susan, with her back turned 
to the door, was cutting the slice for Mr. Rock's toast. 
" Much too thick, Susan ! " Sabina cried, and Susan dropped 
both loaf and knife, with "Lor, Miss ! how you frighten me ! 
Well ! tired of the great folks at Tregear already, I'll warrant 
you. Glad to come home to your own nice breakfast, poor 
lamb!" 

" Is my uncle down stairs yet ? " 

But Mr. Rock's deliberate step was now heard as he de- 
scended. " He is come to the creaking stair now." How 
Sabina hated that stair, which always would creak, notwith- 
standing the many efforts which she had made to avoid the 
unmusical plank with which it had been invested. 

She made the toast before she went to wish him " Good- 
morning," dreading Susan's ministration, if she were left 
alone with the cut bread. 

" There, Susan ! let me cut both pieces. This will do 
for your breakfast." 

" A pretty thing ! a fine extravagance for servants to eat 
toast. You got them notions at Tregear, I suppose." 

"You may eat it untoasted if you like. There is no com- 
pulsion," said Sabina, as she placed her uncle's two slices in 
the little old silver rack, and carried it in daintily between 
her finger and thumb, so that no part of her dress or sleeve 
came into contact with the simple luxury. 

" What ! Sabina ! Why have you come back so soon ? " 
said her uncle, with a troubled countenance. 

" Oh, uncle ! I thought you would be so very glad to see 
me again, and I came in time to make your toast, and to 
tell you all about everything, and I shall run all the way 
back, and they will never know it. Lady Sarah will not be 
out of her room before luncheon." 

Mr. Rock's countenance cleared. The same idea had 



172 Sabina. 

crossed his mind and that of the greengrocer's boy, that 
Sabina had been sent back in disgrace. 

How happy were the pair over that niggardly little break- 
fast-table. Sabina reproached her uncle with the absence of 
the egg she had entreated him to have; but he made the 
usual reply, that he could not afford it. 

" Oh, uncle ! " so sadly, she said. 

" If ever I get my share of the ' Eurydice ' prize money, 
my dear, I will eat an egg every day for the remainder of 
my life, if it will give you any pleasure." 

" Ah ! that prize money ! " replied the girl, hopelessly. 
"How unjust — how cruel the people are who make these 
delays. The eggs you will not eat might keep you alive, uncle ! 
I wish the officials were wanting eggs to keep them alive ! 
I wish they were where Eurydice was herself, and had no 
Orpheus to bring them back." Sabina knew the opera, but 
Mr. Rock did not, or he would gravely have rebuked the 
wish as savouring of profanity. 

" In the meantime, child, thanks to Mr. Tresillian, or 
Lady Sarah, I shall have a good dinner, for the gamekeeper 
left two brace of birds here after you went yesterday, all 
young," continued the old man, with a tone of satisfaction. 
He had been a sportsman, and had often parcelled out 
young and old birds together, or young ones only, when 
anxious to please the recipient of the gift. 

Sabina's face flushed with pleasure. 

"It was Mr. Tresillian, no doubt. Lady Sarah would 
not have thought of it." 

" I have sent a brace to Orellan. I knew it would be a 
treat to Mrs. Orellan." 

Sabina did not care for Mr. Orellan, nor for his sick wife, 
and had rather her uncle had kept the partridges himself; 
but now she told him the good news, and saw his forehead 
crimson with pleasure at the intelligence. He was too much 
pleased to say much ; but Sabina was well repaid. He sat 
swelling with the importance of having this to communicate 
to Orellan when he should call. 

Then Sabina's tongue went glibly. She told her uncle 
nearly all that had happened. Not about the quagmire, nor 
about the kiss ; but she gave a vivid description of the mag- 
nificence of the house and furniture, and of the dinner, and 
the gorgeously liveried servants, and of the singing. She 



Sabina. 



173 



omitted how she had escaped from the house, for she 
imagined justly that her means of egress would shock her 
uncle's ideas of propriety ; but enough was repeated to give 
the veteran food for amused thought for the rest of the day. 

In the meantime, Mr. Tresillian awoke to the memory of 
the kiss he had imprinted on Sabina's velvet cheek, and 
with a great longing to repeat the application. Most people 
have felt the desire to clasp in reality the phantom which 
has haunted them in the realms of sleep. In slumber, these 
creations of our wishes are sweet, loving, yielding, where in 
life they are probably ferHed round by propriety and the 
tyranny of circumstances. In sleep he had fancied himself 
to be wandering in some green island, accompanied only by 
Sabina. All nature seemed like what might be dreamed of 
Paradise, clustering ivy and the twisted stemmed vine hung 
over them ; the air was balmy and serene ; she clung to his 
support, and his lips met hers in one long kiss ; she seemed 
to be melting away in his arms as he tightened his embrace. 
He awoke and found it was but a dream, but a dream which 
he longed to fulfil as soon as possible. 

'•The little witch is an early riser, I dare say. She will 
be up before I am dressed," and he rang for his valet, and 
ordered his bath to be prepared at once. 

When Mr. ,Tresillian was dressed he deferred taking his 
breakfast, in the hope that Sabina would partake of it. 

" Pray, is Miss Rock down stairs yet ? " he said in an 
indifferent tone. 

" Can't say, Sir." 

" Find out." 

"Miss Rock has not rung her bell yet, Sir, Miss 
Stephens says," replied the man, after making inquiries. 

"Sleeping still?" he said to himself; "not accustomed 
to late hours, I suppose." His heart throbbed violently at 
the thought which took possession of his brain. " Suppose 
I go and knock at her room-door, and awake her." 

He listened. There is not a sound ! He knocked again. 
" She's not there ! " He opened the door stealthily, and, 
deceived by the unwithdrawn curtains at the window, which 
darkened the room, he moved softly to the bed. " Empty !" 
He placed his hand on the pillow. " Cold ! She has not 
been here for some time ! " Then, after looking suspiciously 
round the room, and seeing only Sabina's costume of the 



174 Sab iua. 

preceding evening, with the little black satin shoes, and silk 
hose, retroverted and left on the ground, after the untidy 
fashion of that careless child, he said — " She's gone down to 
amuse herself with the pictures," and he went to seek 
her in the gallery, then in the drawing-room, library, and 
breakfast-room, growing more angry at every fresh disap- 
pointment of his hopes. " If she be not in the house, she may 
have gone into the grounds," he thought, and, returning 
to her room, he opened a wardrobe to see if her hat and 
cloak were in its recesses. No, lhen she was gone out, and 
with seeming indifference he stroned out to look for her. 

" Stupid girl ! Good Heavens ! If she went to the water- 
fall, and attempted to cross the small ledge of wood over 
the torrent — just the thing it would please her to attempt !" 
He was walking in that direction when he saw small foot- 
steps on the dewy grass, and following their lead, he found 
she had gone through the beech plantation. He hastened 
to his retreat in a nutter of hope that he should find her 
there, but the footsteps branched off to the gate which led 
to the high road, and then Mr. Tresillian knew she had 
returned home, and anger swallowed up every other feeling. 





CHAPTER XX. 

"Rage is the shortest passion of our souls; 
Like narrow brooks that rise with sudden showers, 
It swells in haste and falls again as soon ; 
Still as it ebbs the softer thoughts flow in,' 
And the deceiver, Love, supplies its place." — Rowe. 




R. TRESILLIAN went up into his retreat, and 
looked down the road; for some time fruit- 
lessly; but at length between the waving 
branches he caught a glimpse of a slight 
little figure, coming on swiftly between the trees. He 
determined to remain in silent dignity in his room, till 
he recollected that, in doing this, he should defer the op- 
portunity of making her unhappy by the exhibition of his 
indignation, for that she would probably hasten to the house, 
being ignorant of his vicinity. So he resolved to walk to- 
wards her, solving the sacrifice of his own dignity by a deter- 
mination to make her as miserable as possible by the 
reproaches he would heap upon her, and by the sarcasms 
with which he would overwhelm her. He had nearly reached 
the gate when she unlocked it, and stood before him, her 
lovely face glowing with exercise, and with the unexpected 
sight of him whom she most desired to see. 

"Oh, Mr. Tresillian!" she said, bounding towards him, 
but there was no responsive pleasure in his face, when, raising 
his hat stiffly, he showed the expression of his countenance, 
which it had previously shadowed. 

" What is it ? Is Lady Sarah ill ? Is anything wrong ? " 

" Not that I am aware of, Miss Rock." 

" Oh, but there is ; there must be. Why are you angry ? 



176 Sabina. 

Please don't be vexed with me. What have I done? Is 
Lady Sarah angry ? I hope not," and Sabina passed both 
hands round Mr. Tresillian's arm, and hid her face and wept. 
The revulsion of feeling on a morning which had been so 
fraught with happiness to her was too bitter to bear without 
tears. They spring so readily to the eyes of the young, the 
pendulum of whose feelings vibrates so easily between 
pleasure and suffering. Age, blunted by frequently recur- 
ring causes of grief, sheds tears sparingly and seldom. 

"When you have finished your weeping, Miss Rock, we 
will continue our walk towards the house. I am not aware 
that Lady Sarah has as yet discovered that your impatience 
of her hospitality was so great, that you took the first op- 
portunity of leaving Tregear." 

Sabina drew her handkerchief from her pocket and wiped 
her eyes, releasing Mr. Tresillian's arm, and walking by his 
side in silence. 

" Now," he said to himself, " if I remain cold and sulky 
in my manner, and go up into my retreat, she will follow me 
in the hope of being forgiven." 

They had not yet reached that part of the beech wood 
which led to the ladder, and Sabina, steadying her voice as 
well as she could, said, 

" Please do not be angry with me, Mr. Tresillian ; I owe 
you so much for your kindness to my uncle, so very much ; 
and to me you have always been so very good.' I only 
went to see my uncle, you see. I was so glad to be able to 
tell him. And then his toast — I like to make it myself." 

If Mr. Tresillian had spoken his thoughts, he would have 
said, " What is that stupid old fool of an uncle compared to 
me ? " but he said nothing, and removed, with a slight twist, 
the arm on which Sabina had timidly placed only the tips of 
her fingers this time. They were close to the ladder now, 
and Mr. Tresillian began to ascend it without looking back, 
or speaking to Sabina. The girl's spirit was aroused, and 
instead of the reiterated entreaties which the young man 
expected to hear poured forth, with all the eloquence of love 
and grief, Sabina compressed her lips, and walked steadily 
towards the house. 

" Checkmated, by Jove ! " was Mr. Tresillian's reflection. 
" Shall I follow her ? No. She will now, in her turn, take 
the privilege of sulking. I must bide my time." 



CHAPTER XXI. 




" Eear with the old, so few their pleasures seem ; 
Wake not the helpless tears that dim their eyes ; 
Their hope extinct — their memory but a dream, 

And few the suns which yet on them may rise." — E. 

LD people have often some cherished hope — some 
intense love, which exists in a greater force than 
any experienced by the young. The horizon of 
youth is diversified by a thousand sparkling 
beams, caught from the morning sun of their existence. To 
the aged, how dear must be the lonely light which illuminates 
the dark midnight by which they are surrounded — 

" A single star, when only one 
Is shining in the skies." 

The attachment of Mr. Rock for Sabina was his absorbing 
passion. His youthful love had been starved out; his 
ambition of manhood had sunk into despondency. This 
child had been thrown on his unwilling support, taken to his 
protection, because he could not endure that anyone bearing 
the name of Rock should be reduced to be provided for by the 
parish, received unwillingly, as a tax on his limited income ; 
but growing by degrees into toleration, then liking, then 
love scabsorbing, that, proud and self-sufficient as the old 
man flattered himself he was, he could not help owning to 
himself that he could not be easy in her absence, and had 
no thoughts of which she was not the centre. He had his little 
secret from this dear child, and swelled with the importance 
of it. He had received some information which seemed to 
promise that the long disputed prize-money of the " Eury- 
dice " would soon be settled ; and then ! — what would he 
not do with the money ! How he calculated and re- 
calculated to a fraction what it would amount to. Then 
12 



178 Sabina. 

came the anticipated pleasure of spending, and the secret of 
secrets with which he was to surprise his darling — a new 
piano ! He was a liberal man in his ideas, poor fellow ! 
and only kept out of debt by his horror of pecuniary dis- 
honesty. Seven hundred and odd pounds he hoped to re- 
ceive. What a fortune it seemed ! He would give a hun- 
dred of it for a piano for Sabina. He went over in his mind 
her delight and his. He wrote to Messrs. Broadwood for 
lists of prices, and for the measurements of their in- 
struments ; for the room was finite, though his desires to 
please his child were infinite. Where could the instrument 
stand was a vexed question in his mind. There was the old 
bureau in the sitting-room, where he sat and wrote, and did 
his small accounts. If the horizontal grand piano came, 
that must be dismissed- — but whither ? The bed-room he 
occupied might receive it ; but he was old and his circulation 
was irregular, and he rather dreaded sitting in a tireless 
room during the coming winter ; for a fire in his bed-room 
would have been an unheard-of luxury. True, he might 
have had an upright piano ; but Mr. Mudge, at the music 
shop, considered that the silk absorbed the voice, and he 
wanted Sabina's voice to be heard in perfection. He would 
leave twenty pounds in his will to Susan, and then there 
would be six hundred left to invest in the funds for Sabina's 
benefit when he should die. Six hundred pounds in the 
funds in those days, meant thirty pounds a-year — a small in- 
come for his darling to live on. But she might give lessons, 
or go out as a governess, and the thirty pounds certain 
yearly would be a great comfort, he thought. Then, she 
might marry ; but at this idea his brow clouded. Whom 
could she marry? It seemed strange that one so poor 
should have so profound a contempt for men whose money 
was supplied by trade ; but it would have grieved Mr. Rock 
should Sabina have been linked for life with any but a gentle- 
man. 

Thinking of his prize-money, and of the pleasure he was 
about to confer on his friend Orellan, and of the piano with 
which he was to surprise Sabina, Mr. Rock was quite cheer- 
ful, and almost forgot that his evenings would be very dreary 
without his usual antagonist at chess ; but to act rightly, and 
bear the result, had been the old sailor's rule of action 
through life, and he was not going to flinch from it now. 



CHAPTER XXII. 




" For a tear from those dark deep humid orbs, 
'Neath their lashes so long, soft, sleek, 
All the light in your lustrous eye absorbs 
As it trembles upon your cheek." 

Owen Meredith. 

E left Sabina hastening to Tregear with a swelling 
bosom, ready to expand into sobs, and eyes from 
which she had to wipe the tears, which constantly 
gathered, and excluded the pathway she must 

hastened to her room, and deposited her hat and 
and shortly after Stephens came to inquire of Miss 
Rock if she would take her breakfast in her own room or in 
the breakfast saloon. She preferred the latter, for she could 
not fancy eating or drinking in a bed-room, and determined 
to despatch the meal as soon as possible, and return to her 
room to begin the repairs of the veil, some fine thread for 
which she had taken from her work-box at home, the re- 
mains of what she had used for her own work. 

The hot rolls, toast and butter, eggs, and fried haddock 
were rarities to the young girl, who enjoyed them in 
moderation, and then drank a cup of coffee hastily and es- 
caped to her own apartment, to avoid the angry eyes which 
she dreaded to encounter, when Mr. Tresillian returned to 
the house. She hoped he would not withdraw his promise 
with respect to the Coastguard. What a sad temper he 
must have, to be so angry for such a trifle ! What could it 
matter to him that she went home to give her uncle his 
breakfast ? Was it so very ill-bred as he -seemed to think 
it ? She could not tell ; but her face got hot at the idea 
that she had been guilty of some breach of unknown 
12 — 2 



1 80 Sabina. 

etiquette. She wondered when he would forgive her, — 
whether he ever would. She rather dreaded seeing Lady 
Sarah, lest she, too, should express her displeasure. Per- 
haps she had not found it out ; and Sabina trusted that Mr. 
Tresillian would not betray her. 

She set to work on the veil, and had mended one large 
fracture, before the luncheon-bell rang. Sabina heard it, 
but knew not its signification till Stephens came and said 
Lady Sarah was inquiring for her. Sabina descended, and 
was met by a tranquil salutation and a sweet smile. She, at 
any event, was not angry with her ; and the girl's spirits rose 
at the thought. The butler carved the roasted pheasant, 
for Mr. Tresillian did not appear. He did not seem to 
have been expected, and the girl knew not whether she was 
relieved by, or sorry for his absence. After luncheon, Lady 
Sarah proposed to show Sabina her flower garden and 
aviary ; and they walked together, the one pleased by 
Sabina's expressions of admiration, the other thinking such 
glorious combinations of flowers had never before been 
assembled, for Sabina's memory of Spanish and Portuguese 
gardens had become somewhat dreamy. 

Whilst the girl was examining some exotics which she had 
never before seen, a footman came up and announced the 
arrival of visitors, and Lady Sarah gave Sabina the choice of 
returning to the house with her, or remaining amongst the 
flowers. She chose the latter, for she was very tired with 
the length of her walk, and sat down to rest herself before 
she proceeded to explore the gardens. At length she re- 
covered sufficiently to go on, and seeing a low door-way in 
the high-walled kitchen garden, she opened it and entered. 
What a magnificent old place it was ! There were long 
gravel paths so hard and broad that three carriages might 
have passed abreast without encroaching on the venerable 
box border, which might have walled in the flower-beds for 
the last hundred years — for there was that mixture of flowers, 
fruit and vegetables, which makes an old English garden so 
attractive. These noble paths or rather roads were planted 
at the sides with hollyhocks of majestic height, and of the 
largest clusters ; every variety of colour was to be seen, 
from the pale straw-colour to the richest crimson, interspersed 
with white and black blossoms. By their sides, and some- 
times supported by them, were those queenly lilies, which 



Sabina. 



181 



the painters of old made to live on their canvas, as the 
type of purity. Each end of the garden road was terminated 
by high stone vases, from the summit of which bloomed 
scarlet geraniums, mingled with the plumy branches of the 
clematis, which hung over the old moss-covered stone, a 
contrast in their evanescent beauty to the solid structure, 
venerable with its hundreds of years, which supported it. 
The gravel which was still glowing, though part of the 
garden was shadowed 'from the sun, was less attractive to 
Sabina than a distant portion, which was to be approached 
through another low door-way, and seemed full of short 
clustering trees. In truth, Sabina's instinct told her that 
they must be apple trees, and her old temptation came on 
her with fresh force. The peaches and nectarines were 
covered by nets, and Sabina had not courage to place a fur- 
tive hand within that tantalising defence, through which 
their ripe beauties glowed on the heated wall ; but when she 
wandered into the orchard all her perceptions enjoyed the 
anticipated feast. What a fine old orchard it was ! The 
walls were covered with plum trees, some large and round ; 
and covered with their purple bloom, seen between the 
oblong polished leaves, some magnum bonums oval and 
pendant glimmered out unexpectedly from their seclusion. 
The gardeners had not thought it worth while to net these 
trees ; indeed, from the fantastic manner in which the smaller 
branches projected from the wall it would have been a work 
of difficulty; and it struck Sabina that at some past' period 
of the trees' lives those functionaries must have neglected 
that part of the ground in the prolonged absences of the 
family, — " Out of sight, out of mind." Probably few persons, 
but herself, would have found the orchard so attractive. 
Through tall seeding weeds she strode, lifting her feet very 
high ineffectually to avoid them, till she got close under a 
Pearmain tree — others were more brilliant in the colour of 
their bright burthen ; but of the Pearmain, it might be said, 
as of the mignonette, " My qualities surpass my charms." A 
i; sops in wine" seemed to beckon her from the distance, 
but Sabina determined to defer her attentions to that till 
another day, or, at any event, till she got tired of eating 
Pearmains. Unfortunately the best fruit seemed above her 
reach — it always is, in some way or other. She stood on 
tip-toe, and with elevated arm, and head thrown back, 



1 82 Sabina. 

she just reached the points of some of the leaves, which 
broke away from her clutch, leaving her hand full only of 
the torn fragments, and her eyes blinded by the particles of 
dust and white and yellow mosses which made the trees 
venerable. The branch laden with luscious fruit swung up 
indignantly from the effort she had made to secure its off- 
spring ; Sabina let go the torn leaves and put her hands to 
her blinded eyes. The pain was exquisite ; she tried to open 
them, but could not, when a laughing voice cried out — 

" Well done, Miss Rock, you always find apples irresisti- 
ble. ' Feed me with apples, comfort me with pippins,' says 
the wisest of men. But what is this ? no laughing matter, 
seemingly," continued Mr. Tresillian, who, finding his 
mother safely occupied by her guests, had determined to 
improve his opportunity by seeking Sabina. She was in 
too much pain to express the provocation she felt in 
being detected in a position so undignified, as that of 
stealing apples. What could she say? Nothing. She 
stamped her little foot in the increasing agony of her eye. 

"Now you must open your eye," said the gentleman, 
with his cambric handkerchief twisted into a point. "There," 
continued he, placing her head against the tree, " now do 
try to open it." Sabina did so, and Mr. Tresillian dexter- 
ously inserted the point of the handkerchief and swept off 
the particle of moss. The pain of the friction of the 
handkerchief over the ball was very great, and Sabina sank 
on the ground, and rocked herself to and fro in her 
agony. " The particle of moss or dust is out, — here it is 
on the handkerchief. You are only suffering now from 
the irritation of the eyeball ; get up," and as she rose Mr. 
Tresillian took her up in his arms. " Keep your eyes 
shut — I'll carry you to the fountain." Arrived there he 
made her kneel, leaning over the brim, and bathed her 
eyelids with the cold water ; and by-and-bye Sabina's pain 
abated, and she opened a pair of very red eyes and looked 
about her. 

The fountain stood in a little arched recess, and flung 
up its glittering waters, which gleamed more brightly from 
the darkness which half surrounded it. The entrance was 
shadowed by trees, and ivy clustered round the archway. 

" Oh, how beautiful ! cried Sabina ; I never saw this 
before;" for she forgot her trouble about her eye, and 



Sal) ina. 183 

her shame at her attempted theft, in the loveliness of the 
scenery. 

" No ; and permit me to observe, that you would not 
have been able to see it now, had I not kindly and skilfully 
taken the mote out of your eye. Oh most shameless of little 
thieves ! " 

'• You are very good, very kind to me now — and I am 
very grateful to you; but I thought you very capricious 
and cross this morning, — but, oh, dear, are my eyes getting 
any better ? I am so afraid I shall not be able to do Lady 
Sarah's veil." 

"Yes, they will soon be well. Never mind the veil. I will 
admit that I was cross this morning ; but then I was fright- 
ened, and when people are alarmed they are always cross." 

" Who frightened you ? How can a great man like you 
be frightened by anyone ? " said the girl, wondering. 

"'You goose ! you frightened me ; or to speak more gram- 
matically, I was alarmed on your account. I thought you 
might have tried to cross the torrent on that little ledge of 
wood, and fallen over and been drowned ; and I went down 
to look for your body, like a fool that I was ; then, when 
I saw your funny little footsteps on the moist turf in the 
direction of Deepindale, I was uneasy lest you should be 
insulted in walking alone, where the road was so unfre- 
quented from the early hour you chose ; altogether I had 
enough to make me cross, and I thought you ought to have 
come up the ladder and begged my pardon properly." 

" I had done so once, and you would not speak to me," 
replied Sabina. 

'' Had I not cared for you a great deal, I should not have 
been so unkind," said the gentleman, looking up at her 
with eyes full of love ; his arm was round her waist, as she 
stood up by his side, he sitting on the edge of the fountain. 
Sabina had become familarised with their proximity, and was 
not startled ; on the contrary, she seemed disposed to argue 
the point quietly. 

: It seems to me," she said, "that if one loves a person a 
great deal one is never cross, but always nice to them ; that 
is my way of loving my uncle." Mr. Tresillian felt inclined 
to shake her. "It was because I love him more than any- 
one else in the world that I went home to see that his 
breakfast was nicely made." Mr. Tresillian removed his 



1 84 Sabina. 

arm and taking up a flat pebble made ducks and drakes in 
the fountain. Sabina, all unconscious that she had inflicted 
mortification, was rather proud of her triumph in argument, 
in which she augured her victory from the silence of her 
companion. 

" I declare, Sabina," he said at length, " that I should 
like to take your head and hold it under that water till you 
were suffocated." 

He spoke as though he would have really enjoyed the 
performance, and the girl looked into his face, so puzzled 
and scared, that with a sudden revulsion of feeling he flung 
his arms round her and kissed her passionately. 

" Don't — let me go — I don't like it," said she, struggling 
■ — ■" I don't like it at all " — freeing herself, and standing 
breathless and angry at a little distance. " No one ever 
kissed me before — no, that is a story." 

"Who did?" 

" Poor mamma before she died," replied the girl, almost 
weeping, " and — yes, one person beside." 

" Who ? " said Mr. Tresillian,— " Your uncle ? " 

" Nonsense ! " said Sabina. " He never kisses anyone." 

" Who then ? " 

" Mabel Snow," rejoined Sabina. 

A sudden change came over Mr. Tresillian's countenance, 
a great gravity and depression, and a deep crimson flush 
suffused his brow. Sabina looked and wondered, and waited 
till he spoke again. When he did so, it was in a constrained 
voice. 

"Who, pray, is Mabel Snow?" 

Yet he did not seem to be particularly interested in her 
simple recital, when he had satisfied himself that Sabina 
had had no communication with the Snows for more than 
five years. 

When Sabina had ceased speaking"there was a long silence, 
which was broken at length by Mr. Tresillian asking her of 
what she was thinking ? 

" I was thinking," she replied, " that notwithstanding all 
my trouble, and the pain in my eyes, I never got any apples 
after all." 

Mr. Tresillian laughed. "What a greedy child you are! 
Come ! I will pick you as many as we can carry ; or I will 
order the gardener." 



Sabina. 185 

" Oh, no ! that won't be half so nice as picking them our- 
selves," said Sabina ; so they returned to the orchard, and 
Mr. Tresillian shook the trees, and Sabina had as many- 
apples as she desired. 

'' Are you satisfied ? " he said, smiling. 

" Quite, I thank you," said the girl, for the vulgar abbrevia- 
tion of " Thanks " was then unknown. 

" Then," suggested the gentleman, " I want you to promise 
me something — not to be running off to Deepindale to-mor- 
row morning." 

Sabina's countenance fell. 

He saw it, and said, — " If your heart is so set on giving 
your uncle his breakfast, I will order my dog-cart for you 
at seven o'clock to-morrow, and the servant shall drive you 
over, put up the horse for a couple of hours, and then bring 
you back." 

" Oh, thank you ! a thousand times," cried the girl, and 
she looked ready to offer to kiss him again ; but some recol- 
lection of the last embrace withheld her, and she then sug- 
gested, that as her eyes were well again, she should like to 
return to the house, and go on with the repairs of Lady 
Sarah's veil. 







SMSMBm 


pp 


Sli 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

" An independent race, precise, correct, 
Who ever married in the kindred sect." 




|UR history must retrograde for some months, and 
change its locality for that of the pretty town of 
Trevedra. 

It is the period of the quarterly meeting held 
in London by the Society of Friends, and Friend Rachel 
and Friend Walter Snow have gone to attend it, taking 
with them their eldest girl, whom they consider to be of a 
marriageable age, and for whom they wish to contract an 
alliance with a steady man, rather older than the girl might 
prefer, very stiff and long backed, but with wealth, in 
abundance, and great capability of accumulating more. 

Rhoda Snow was quite aware, without having been told 
in so many words, that a matrimonial scheme, in which she 
was to be one of the principal parties, was under considera- 
tion, and she had, with increased importance, communicated 
all she knew, and a good many doubtful suppositions, to her 
Sister Mabel. They were standing now in their large pleasant 
bed-room, overlooking the trim but luxuriant garden, rich with 
flowers and heavy with fruit. 

Mabel turned her sweet face from the varieties of crimson, 
blue, orange, green, scarlet, and purple, which vied with each 
other in her favourite borders, and looked at the French gray 
bonnet, of coal-scuttle shape, which Rhoda held in her out- 
stretched hand for Mabel's approbation. 

" It is just come from Friend Botlerel, wilt thou look at 
it? It seems to me that the stitches are not so small as they 
might be. Thou seest there are fifty-two stitches from the 



Sabi/ia. 187 

middle to the termination of the first inch, and but forty- 
nine the next inch. Dost thou perceive that ? " 

Mabel smiled quietly. " I do not think friends will look 
at the stitches if they see thy face under the bonnet, sister." 

A starched smile struggled on the goodly face of Rhoda. 
'■ When I sit next to Friend Stubbes, at the meeting, she 
always looks at my bonnet, thou seest, and not at my face. 
She could not see my face, unless I turned my head, which 
would be unseemly." 

"Where will Friend Sturm sit?" said Mabel, wickedly. 

"Thou shouldest not say that, Mabel." 

'■ Oh, Rhoda, dear ! look at all those bright colours in 
the garden ! Can it be wrong to dress otherwise than in 
drab, when the Great Father so arrays the lilies of the field ? 
Why hast thou that lovely colour in thy cheek ? God gave 
it to thee. Thou canst not help being comely. If it were 
wicked to have a colour He would not have given it to thee." 

" Friends dress in drab," said Rhoda, "that they may not 
be tempted to give up too much thought to outward adorn- 
ment ; but cultivate the graces of a quiet spirit." 

Mabel was silent ; but she thought that Rhoda's excessive 
care as to the number of stitches in her bonnet, was only a 
variety of devotion to outward adornment ; and she turned 
the conversation to Joseph Sturm. 

" Oh, Rhoda ! Canst thou really like him ? I mean 
like him well enough to live with him always." 

■' Thou dost not like him," was Rhoda's evasive reply. 

"No, no! he is so ugly, so coarse in his skin, such a 
long upper lip, and he never says more than ' yea ' and 
nay.' " 

" Thou shouldest not call ugly that which God has been 
pleased to create, and dost thou read what is said — ' Let 
thy communication be yea, yea ; nay, nay : for whatsoever 
is more than these cometh of evil ? ' Besides, Roscrow is a 
fine place. Dost not recollect when we used to fill our 
baskets with specimens of spar and ore which paved the 
road when Joseph's uncle was alive ? " 

Mabel was silent. She thought she should not find the 
same pleasure in collecting specimens of copper, if such a 
man as Joseph Sturm were the master of Roscrow, so she 
only sighed. 

" Dost thou think thou wilt feel lonely when we are gone 



1 88 Sab iiia. 

to the quarterly meeting, Mabel ? Will it try thee to stay 
here alone ? " 

" No, Rhoda. I hope I shall be supported. I wish all 
the boys were going away too. I can manage the girls." 

Many instructions were given to Mabel with regard to 
domestic watchfulness. Certain portions of needlework were 
to be performed daily. The butchers' accounts were to be 
overlooked weekly, and the stockings from the shop were to 
be run toe and heel before they were polluted by the foot of 
the wearer. 

Mabel was rather proud of being left in the position of 
mistress of the house, and mother of the younger children in 
the absence of her parents, and accepted all the instructions 
with a conscientious determination to carry them out. 

Her eyes filled with tears though, as the covered waggon 
drove off, laden with her father and mother and sister, the 
last two arrayed in the snowiest of neckerchiefs and the 
most shining of French gray bonnets, with little, close, neatly 
crimped caps under them. 

Mabel wandered about the house for half-an-hour, list- 
lessly, and then set the younger children their lessons, and 
attacked the wearisome stockings and socks. As she 
worked, however, she felt the pleasure of the extreme neat- 
ness and regularity of her stitches, and of her mother's an- 
ticipated quiet approbation on her return. That would not 
be, indeed, for six weeks. How very long the time would 
seem ! and how often Mabel thought she should wish those 
weary weeks abridged. Before one was passed, Mabel 
would have been glad to have lengthened them to infinity. 

Mabel's day passed quietly, for the boys were at school. 
At night they returned, and had tea, for Mabel gave the 
eldest youth that beverage, though Reuben was sent to the 
nursery to take his milk-and-water and stale currant-cake 
with the younger children. 

Very lovely the young Quakeress looked presiding at the 
tea-table, with a pleasant look of assumption of authority. 
The youth, who was two years older than Mabel, was plain, 
and conceited beyond the usual unbounded conceit of 
foolish boys, who seem self-satisfied in proportion to their 
small amount of brains. This young gentleman began to 
disturb the placidity of his sister's temper by finding fault 
with everything on the table, and then with the Society of 



Sabiiia. 189 

Friends in general, and with his father and mother in par- 
ticular. All the pent-up insolence of years, all the surging 
of a rebellious spirit against the strict authority which had 
repressed it in the persons of his parents, now broke over 
the slight barrier opposed by his Sister Mabel to the expres- 
sion of his opinions. 

" Thou knowest nothing, Mabel. What can a girl know 
who sees nothing but what passes between these walls, and 
is carried in a thing more like a waggon than a carriage, 
every first day to meeting, as a treat ? What a figure thou 
art in thy brown dress and white neckerchief! Ah ! if thou 
couldest see Caroline Manners, thou wouldest see a girl who 
knows how to dress ! " 

Mabel, who had thought her dress very appropriate to a 
young Friend, winced at this wholesale criticism. " There's 
not a spot on it, I'm sure," said she meekly. 

'' A spot ! What if there were fifty, so that the gown was 
well cut ! " 

Mabel thought she should like to know how Caroline 
Manners looked ; but Luke only said she was the most 
beautiful creature in the world, and he meant to go to the 
county ball, to dance with her. 

"Ball! Dance!" exclaimed Mabel. "Oh, Luke, what 
would thy mother say ? " 

His mother might say what she pleased. He didn't care. 
And he pushed away his tea-cup, and left the room with an 
air of defiance, which filled the gentle Mabel with grief. 
She heard him go out of the door leading to the garden, 
which he slammed in his insolence ; and Mabel was disturbed 
by the fear lest he should not return by ten o'clock, when 
the quiet household retired to bed. 

It is a proverb worthy of all acceptation, that " There is 
no accounting for tastes ; " and certainly no accounting for 
affection. It is a puzzle to know why the gentle, pure- 
minded Mabel loved her degraded, hypocritical brother, 
why she always placed his words and acts in the best light 
to her parents, and bore blame which might have been more 
justly his due. Though she was possessed of more sense 
than fell to his share, she was constantly impressed by his 
knowledge of facts and people of which and of whom she 
knew nothing. As, at ten o'clock, she passed the looking- 
glass i:i her bed-room, she paused, and examined the reflec- 



1 9° Sabina. 

tion of her beautiful person, and wondered what Caroline 
Manners was like, and how she was dressed. She would 
get Luke to tell her, when he was not so cross, she thought. 
Then she looked again, and smiled a little timid smile ; for 
though meek and subdued in her self-estimation, she appre- 
ciated the faultless skin and the perfection of her fairness. 
Her hair was banded over her pure brow, and braided at 
the back under the transparent cap of white muslin ; her 
throat was rounded and white ; and the hair at the back of 
her neck grew compactly to her head, and did not straggle 
down on the skin in its growth. She was rather fully formed 
than slender, which was in her youth an added attraction, 
but would in middle life degenerate probably into clum- 
siness. 

She went to bed with a troubled mind. What would her 
mother think if she knew that Luke was not at home ? She 
hoped to hear the door leading from the garden open softly, 
indicating his return ; for though the servants, believing him 
to have retired to rest, had fastened it so securely, Mabel 
had gone noiselessly and undone the bolts and locks before 
she came up to her room. But Mabel dropped off to sleep 
in the midst of her anxiety, and awoke in an hour or so, 
thinking that half the night was over, and tormented with 
anxiety, lest Luke should not have come in. She arose, 
and dressed herself, being too precise, even in her distress, 
not to make herself quite neat ; and lighting a candle from 
the rushlight which burnt in her room, she proceeded to 
that of Luke, in which the bed was empty. He had not 
come in. 

She wondered, helplessly, whether this was the night of 
the county ball he had talked of attending. She knew no- 
thing, and leant her face against the window-pane, looking 
into the darkness of the garden, fruitlessly. At length she 
saw flashes of light amongst the trees on the road leading 
past the house, and shouts of a multitude of men and boys. 
That they might have something to do with Luke, and thus 
be mixed up with the overwhelming anxiety of her heart, she 
feared, painfully; and her eagerness to know, contending 
with her natural timidity, induced her to descend into the 
garden, and open a small door by which the gardeners were 
used to enter, to save a round by the large gates. She stood 
outside, partly shadowed by the wall, and the crowd, intent 



Sabina. 191 

on their own amusement, did not at first catch sight of her ; 
but in her eagerness to see, she advanced a little into the 
|ight of the torches they were carrying, and was greeted with 
a shout — " Sweet gal ! pretty gal ! Give us a kiss ! " She 

Sid not listen, but pushed into the midst, where Luke, very 
runk, was staggering along, leaning on the arm of a dis- 
solute woman, oppressed by the amount of stimulants he had 
taken, and by the weight of a pole, to which was appended 
a large flag, on which was marked, in gilt letters, the Cornish 
motto, " One and all." It was at the period of enthusiasm 
for war, at the point of the greatest interest during the Pe- 
ninsular campaigns ; and Mabel, brought up in the horror, 
felt by all true Friends, of arms, saw that Luke, with his 
loathsome-looking companion, was heading a procession of 
half boys and half young men, who intended to enlist on the 
following day, and celebrated their future triumphs by parad- 
ing with all the mimic signs of war they could get together. 

" Luke, Luke ! " said Mabel, catching his arm with an 
impetus which nearly pulled him over, flag and flag-staff. 
' ; Luke, come away from that woman. Come home with 
me. Throw away that red rag, which savours of blood and 
strife. Come home to bed. Art thou mad, Luke ? " she 
cried, not understanding his glazed eyes and uncertain steps. 
The insolent woman, and the crowd of young men and 
boys, chiefly from the free school, of which Luke was the 
head, bearing their venerated flag (purloined from the town- 
hall by one of the boys, who was son of the woman em- 
ployed to keep the hall), so misused, showered a storm of 
abuse on the young girl : 

" Quaker ! Quaker ! thy mother is made of brown paper." 

" What do you mean, you young fool, by interfering with 
our noble captain ? " 

" Brother ! Luke ! " said Mabel in her agony, for one of 
the young men put his arm round her, and ^insisted on a 
kiss. 

But Luke, planting his flag-staff as firmly as he could, said 
only with a drunken gravity — " One and all ! " 

" That means we may all kiss her," said the crowd. 

" Bravo ! " cried the woman, insolently. 

Mabel uttered shriek on shriek, as she struggled in the 



I9 2 Sabina. 

arms of her captor, when she was suddenly freed by such a 
blow dealt on the head of her assailant, that she staggered 
against the wall, whilst her deliverer had enough to do in 
warding off the attacks which came from a multitude of fists, 
the proprietors of which seemed to have forgotten "fair 
play." One young man, : however, called the rest to 
order, and challenged Mr. Tresillian to fight him. The 
gentleman said he was perfectly willing, if the young lady 
might first be placed in safety ; and taking the hand of the 
terrified Mabel, he led her to the garden-door, and placed 
her inside. 

" Lock it," he said, impressively. 

"I cannot let thee go out to fight for me. I implore 
thee to stay inside. It is so sinful to fight ; and thou 
mayest be killed. Oh ! I pray thee — no, I beg thee to stay 
■ — 'tis sinful to pray." And she clung to his arm eagerly. 

Mr. Tresillian looked at her beautiful person with ad- 
miration. 

" I will return in a few minutes, and assure you of my 
safety, Madam. These men and boys are all drunk. 
Oblige me by locking the door ; the rest may enter whilst I 
am engaged with the biggest." 

Without saying more, he drew the door close, locked it, and 
placed the key in his own pocket. Mabel listened and 
wept, leaning her head against the door-sill. She heard the 
blows — heard the brutal shouts of the crowd, and believed 
she heard the inarticulate cries of Luke, urging on the as- 
sailant of her protector. She grew quite faint and sick with 
apprehension. What could she do to help him ? Should 
she return to the house, and obtain the aid of the coachman 
and groom ? It was a good way to go ; and then they 
would know Luke's ill-behaviour. She tried to get out — 
anything was better than this suspense,— but the bolt of 
the lock could not be pushed back by her weak fingers. At 
length there was a louder shout than ever, and then a 
hushed silence, then murmurs, then trampling feet ; and as 
they died away in the distance, Mabel heard the key ap- 
plied to the garden-door, and Mr. Tresillian entered. 

"Oh ! art thou hurt?" the girl cried, tenderly. "Come 
to the summer-house, and sit down. Dear, dear!" she 
continued, as he sat down, and put his hand to his head, 
" thou art hurt. I feel warm blood trickling from thy fore- 



Sabina. 1 93 

head. Lean thy head on my shoulder ; or if thou wilt wait 
a minute, I will dip my handkerchief in the water at the 
fountain, and wash thy face." 

'' No," said Mr. Tresillian, clinging to her, for he liked 
the proximity sufficiently to wish to retain the situation. 
'• Let me sit here quietly for a few moments, and the faint- 
ness will go off. I really am ashamed, Madam, of thus 
intruding." 

" I beg thee not to mention it." And there was a silence 
— Mabel standing, and Mr. Tresillian leaning his head 
against her bosom. All the womanly feelings of her nature 
melted into tenderness towards the handsome young man 
who was suffering from his devotion to her interest, who 
had rescued her from insults, when that craven Luke — her 
own Luke — her own brother — had stood by without afford- 
ing her any aid. The girl had sprung into womanhood 
in the last half-hour. She loved the handsome creature so 
strangely placed in juxtaposition with herself. But, for very 
shame, she would have bowed her head, and impressed her 
lips on his forehead. How fine a young man he had looked 
in the torchlight ! how respectfully he had placed her in 
safety ! And Luke — but at the thought recurring of her 
brother, she began to weep, in grief, anger, and perplexity. 

" How could Luke ? " she sobbed at length, thinking of 
her woes, and of her companion. 

" My dear young lady, which is Luke ? " 

" Oh ! " said Mabel, with her face flushing with shame, 
" Luke was the one with the flag." She did not say, with 
the woman. 

" Luke cannot be your brother," said Mr. Tresillian, for 
he saw no resemblance to the beautiful girl at his side in the 
besotted figure of the standard-bearer. 

" Yes, he is my brother ; and " — sobbing again — " I wish 
he would come home. My parents are gone to the quarterly 
meeting, and they have left me to take care of the house 
and all the children ; and — and — what shall I do about 
Luke ! " She did not mean this interrogatively, but merely 
as an expression of dismay. 

'• My dear lady ! " 

" I am not a lady ! " said Mabel, unconsciously using the 
words of Faust's " Margaret," "lama' Friend.' " 

" My dear friend, then, I will go out and see if I can 
13 



194 Sabina. 

persuade your brother to return to you. I have small ex- 
pectation of inducing him to leave his ' rabble rout ; ' but I 
will do my best. The longest orgies must have an end ; 
and his companions will drop off one by one, and he may 
then listen to reason." 

" But thou wilt be hurt — thou art hurt now. Ah ! what 
can I do for thee ? " 

" My hurt is nothing. I feel well again now ; 'twas but a 
momentary feeling of faintness. I would advise you to 
return to the house." 

" But how shall I know ? " 

" Will you show me the window of the room in which you 
sleep ? I suppose you wish to get him in unknown to the 
servants ? " 

"Yes, I will show thee," she said; and she walked, 
leading him through the darkness towards the house, feeling 
that he must depend on her guidance. " I have shown thee 
the window, and now I will lead thee back to the door." 

Mr. Tresillian did not object; he felt the charm of the 
guidance too much. She let him out into the darkness, 
which was less in the road than under the shelter of the 
ornamental shrubs of the garden, and returned to the 
house. 

She was less anxious now about Luke ; she had rested 
her cares now on the breast of another and a stronger than 
herself. 

" I fear he must have thought me very untidy," she half 
uttered, moving to the mirror. 

She started at the reflection and saw, for the first time, 
that the clear muslin neckerchief which covered her bosom, 
and the shoulder and front of her frock was stained with 
blood. 

" He must be grievously hurt — it was for me," — this was 
the tenor of her thoughts. " I must change my dress. What 
will they say when they see these stains ? Oh, Luke ! 
Luke ! what trouble thou hast brought on thy sister ! " 

She tried to wash the marks out with cold water, but she 
exhausted all that the jugs and pail contained, and the stains 
seemed indelible. " Oh, mother ! what wilt thou say when 
thou hearest of this?" Then she remembered that her 
mother must not know it, if Luke's disgrace was to be 
concealed. 



Sabina. 195 

The efforts to cleanse the clothes from the stains of blood 
passed the time more swiftly, and at length she heard a 
sound like hail upon the window panes, and going towards 
it she perceived Mr. Tresillian making signs to her to 
descend. Wlien she reached him, the moon had shone out 
from the clouds which had hitherto shrouded it, and Mabel 
saw that the countenance of her new friend was very grave. 

" What is it ? Is he hurt ? " she cried in a low voice, 
anxiously. 

"I. do not think he is hurt; but he is quite insensible," 
said Mr. Tresillian. " I have got my groom and my valet 
to carry him, and I came here to know if they can bring 
him up without awakening your household, or whether they 
shall take him to the front of the house, and ring the bell." 

'"Oh, friend, I know not thy name ! Who has hurt my 
poor brother ? Why should he be insensible ? " cried Mabel, 
to whom intoxication and its effects was utterly unknown. 

" He w;ll be in his usual state to-morrow, my dear young 
lady." 

" Friend," interposed Mabel. 

" My dear friend," amended Mr. Tresillian, " we had 
better get him quietly into his bed and leave him." 

Mabel assented, and set all the doors open between 
Luke's bed-room and the garden gate. Presently she saw 
three figures coming along the gravel path in the moonlight, 
bearing a heavy, dark, helpless mass in their arms, one man 
held it by the shoulders and one by the knees. They 
moved slowly and noiselessly, sometimes setting down their 
burthen to rest and recover breath, Mr. Tresillian walking 
by the side. All expressions of violent sorrow or terror 
were discountenanced by these Friends, and though Mabel 
was dreadfully alarmed by seeing her brother in such a 
position, she swallowed down her tears and concealed her 
terrors, and lighted the three men up stairs, after they had 
taken off their boots to move without noise. 

Mr. Tresillian whispered to her, "You had better leave us 
to undress him," and he took the light from her hands, and 
lighted the candles which stood on the dressing-table, and 
put her gently out of the room. He had too much respect 
for this fair young Quakeress to permit her to see more of 
this degraded youth in his present state, and felt that his 
groom and his valet had better do what was necessary for 
13—2 



196 Sabina. 

his comfort or safety. Mr. Tresillian's faith was great in the 
youth of this unworthy scion of " Friends," yet his symptoms 
seemed alarming, for Luke Snow had never before dared to 
indulge in excessive potations, and the effect on his weak 
brain, had been greater than it would have been on a 
habitual drunkard. After he had been undressed and 
placed in his bed Mr. Tresillian joined Mabel, and said 
he had done what he could, but he inquired whether he had 
not better call in the surgeon who attended the family, to 
see if anything more could be suggested. Mabel listened 
with a very white face, turned up towards that of her 
interlocutor so pleadingly, and with an expression of so 
much trouble, that Mr. Tresillian was touched by it. 

" Thou seest that if this disgrace be known to my 
parents, they will be made unhappy; and if I send for 
Friend Farley he may tell them. Thou dost not think my 
brother will die ? " 

"I do not think it at all likely that he will die, but I 
think it possible." 

Mabel's face became almost livid. 

" I will tell you," said Mr. Tresillian, " what I will do, if 
you wish it. I will sit by his side till morning, or till he 
recovers consciousness, and send my servants back to the 
hotel at once. You will not like to be alone under these 
painful circumstances ; but is there none amongst your own 
servants in whom you could confide ? " 

" They would tell my mother," was the quiet answer. 
" But has he been hurt in the head ? " she continued, 
anxiously. 

" He has taken too much to drink." 

She flushed crimson. "And he went in a procession of 
mimic soldiers, and carried a flag himself!" she said, in a 
voice which showed that she knew not which offence would 
be considered the greatest in the judgment of her parents. 

That her dear Brother Luke should be a votary of Moloch, 
and a man of Belial at the same time, seemed doubly shock- 
ing to the simple-minded Quakeress. 

" May I see him ? " and without awaiting Mr. Tresillian's 
permission, she opened the door of his room softly, and 
looked in. The two men-servants drew back from the bed 
to let her approach it, and Mr. Tresillian stood at the door. 
Luke Snow had been placed with his head high on the pillows, 



Sabimr. 197 

and had a handkerchief steeped in cold water on his head ; 
as the candles on the dressing-table illuminated the perfect 
profile of the young Quakeress in her snowy cap and spot- 
less attire, she seemed to Mr. Tresillian like an angel too 
pure for sin, yet full of pity for the sinner. 

The face of the youth was shadowed by the curtains, but 
Mr. Tresillian had seen enough of the low, narrow fore- 
head, small eyes, set closely together, long nose, and coarse, 
animal mouth, to wonder at the blindness of family affec- 
tion, which could cherish such a creature tenderly. 

" If she be wise, not that she seems to be particularly 
sharp ; if she be prudent, she will write to her people, and 
make a clean breast of it," thought her companion ; but 
Mabel was too essentially timid to take such a step, or, in- 
deed, any step. She had never walked without mental 
leading-strings ; and now, being deprived of them, she leant 
on the first support she could cling to, without considering 
whether it might be a broken reed on a spear, on the sharp 
point of which 

" Peace bleeds and hope expires." 

Mabel had the tranquil, loving, sensuous nature of her father. 
In the situation in which she had unfortunately been placed, 
the qualities of her mother's character would have been 
more valuable. 

Thus Mr. Tresillian took on himself to act at once. He 
dismissed his groom and valet silently through the garden, 
telling them he should stay with the young gentleman till 
he got better, and that they were to be silent on the subject 
of the night's transaction. Then he returned to Luke Snow's 
room, and sat down by the bed, wondering whether Mabel 
would remain or not with the patient. His own head ached 
unpleasantly, and he was glad to rest it against the back 
of the chair. He had received a telling blow on the temple, 
which by cutting the skin had occasioned the effusion of 
blood, exciting the commiseration of the beautiful Quakeress, 
and this he had not yet found time to have dressed. Occa- 
sionally, he put his cambric handkerchief to his face, and 
withdrew it still stained by the oozing blood. Mabel per- 
ceived it, and left the room quietly, returning with a small 
basin of warm water and a sponge, and some diachylon 



198 Saiina. 

plaster. Without speaking, she drew the handsome head 
towards her, and washed it tenderly, and after drying it 
with a soft napkin, she applied the warmed plaster. She 
stood back for a moment to look at her handy-work, and 
seemed to Mr. Tresillian so indescribably lovely, that he 
kissed the white hand which had so ministered to his com- 
fort. 

She withdrew it with every nerve quivering with an un- 
known sensation, so pleasurable that it bordered on pain. 
All mention of love, carnal, sensual love, had been ex- 
cluded from the mother's thoughts. No books were ever 
allowed to be read which touched even remotely on the sub- 
ject. Mabel had been as secluded as the Hero of ancient 
story, and the seclusion had been as ineffectual. Mabel 
loved her guest as a woman, young, pure-minded, but 
passionate, loves — but once. Mr. Tresillian loved her as a 
licentious man loves every beautiful woman with whom he is 
thrown into contact. There was something in the entourage 
of this young person particularly piquant to his taste, blase 
as he was with the women who were the companions of his 
unbridled hours in town. His last fancy had been an 
actress, of some talent, and greater artifice ; a woman of 
flashing eyes, violent action, and of exaggerated vocabulary ; 
every pleasure had been pronounced by her ecstatic ; every 
vexation, however slight, overwhelming. She heeded not the 
recommendation of Doctor Johnson, not to use big words 
on small occasions. She was a woman made to shine on 
the stage, her proper locality, and it had been the applause 
of crowded houses which had been her chief attraction to 
Wilfred in the first instance. When she was established 
under his protection, as it was called, her lover had wearied 
of her society, as he did of most things. He declared that 
she was as glaring as the stripes of colour in a target, or as 
one of David's pictures — vivid and shadowless. Their 
temporary connection had just been severed, when accident 
brought Mr. Tresillian to the rescue of Mabel Snow, from 
the insults of her brother's companions, and in the fair 
Quakeress he found all those soft, neutral tints which his eye 
and mind seemed to require. There seemed, too, something 
particularly attractive to his jaded fancy in the innocence of 
his present companion, and in the seclusion which had sur- 
rounded her with such a halo of purity. He remembered 



Sab ina. 199 

with a hard smile the utter indifference with which Amalie 
had kicked aside a young actor, who had also indulged in 
strong potations, and was lying at the door of one of the 
dressing-rooms at the theatre — not with anger, nor disgust, 
but with utter indifference, and it scarcely need be said how 
the purity of Mabel rose by comparison. 

His imagination was captivated by the young Quakeress, 
as well as his passions excited by her beauty. His Lily of 
the Valley he called her in his silent vocabulary. 

They watched together till the candles burnt low in 
their sockets, and Mr. Tresillian, anxious for her reputation, 
watched the first yellow tinge of light showing over the dis- 
tant line of country. Then he rose and made a sign to 
Mabel to follow him, taking one of the nearly extinguished 
lights with him. He turned into the first open door, which 
happened to be Mabel's bed-room. He felt that it was, 
though nothing was said, for the clothes were thrown back 
from the bed, on the pillow of which there still was marked 
the slight pressure made by her head, during that short sleep 
from which her anxiety for her brother had disturbed her. 

She stood trembling and blushing, with a sense of the 
impropriety of his being there, but unwilling to risk the 
opening of the door of the sitting-room, which was locked. 

" I think," said Mr. Tresillian, taking her hand; " that 
your brother is sleeping more naturally, and may be con- 
sidered to be safe. I must go now, whilst there is enough 
of the night left to conceal my departure. May I call to in- 
quire after you to-morrow, or rather to-day ? " 

Mabel did not answer the question directly, she only said, 
" I must walk with thee to the garden door, and lock it after 
thee, otherwise the gardener will inquire why it has been un- 
locked, which may be inconvenient." 

So they went together down through the shadowed 
garden, and reached the gate ; — how well, in after years, 
Mr. Tresillian remembered the spot, on one side of which 
a tall cypress slowly waved, on the other a tender clematis 
hung its graceful and fragrant blossoms, and clustered its 
slender branches, with tendrils clinging to the dark fibrous 
leaves of its stately neighbour, and quivering with every 
breeze that moved his sombre head. 

When they had reached the gate, Mr. Tresillian said, 
" May I call and see you again ? I was only passing 



200 Sabina. 

through Trevedra, but to have such a pleasure I would 
delay my journey, otherwise I shall probably never again 
meet you." 

Mabel held down her head, and was silent. 

Mr. Tresillian understood the rebellion in her heart, but 
desired not to take advantage of it. She Avas too pure 
and innocent to be his victim. He was generous enough 
not to press for the victory he knew was within his grasp. 

" You do not wish it — you will not permit it," he con- 
tinued. " Good-bye, then," and he held out his hand. 

" Farewell," she said, placing her own in his, and press- 
ing it tenderly he released it, and went out closing the 
gate softly. 

He listened ; she had not locked it — she must be there 
still. He fancied he heard smothered sobs, and impetu- 
ously re-entered the garden. Mabel was leaning, weeping 
against the door-sill. The sacrifice had been made to 
propriety and duty, and she was repenting her good deeds, 
and fearing she should see his face no more. There was 
no further reserve' between them. She knew that he had 
divined why she wept. She thought he Avould not have 
taken leave of her so abruptly. 

" May I not return and see you to-morrow — you know 
it is natural that I should wish to hear how your brother 
is — when may I come ? " 

" At eleven," replied Mabel, " at the garden gate." 

When she no longer could hear his departing foot- 
steps, she ran along the solitary garden paths to the 
mansion. She let herself in softly, and visited Luke's 
room, where he seemed to sleep peacefully. She wound 
his watch, and placed his clothes in their usual position. 
He would remember his sin fast enough, without the un- 
tidiness of his room acting as a reminder. Then she re- 
tired to her own, and sat down to meditate, as is enjoined 
by the chief amongst Friends, on the events of the past night. 
Surely, the desire to see after her brother's welfare, which 
called her from her first sleep, had been an inspiration from 
heaven. She had been " sent," no doubt. Her mother often 
felt such impulses, and attributed them to Divine influences. 
But for her going down, Luke might have been found dead 
next morning, instead of being warm and cared for in his 
own bed. Then she thought of the insults offered to her by 



Sabina. 201 

his companions, till she felt her cheeks burn with anger ; 
then of her deliverer, and of his bruised and wounded temple, 
the result of his defence of herself. How fair and comely 
he was ! And her face was moved with a beautiful expression 
of admiring love. How very different to Joseph Sturm, with 
his monosyllabic conversation, coarse skin, and long upper 
lip ! She reflected with doubt and shame, on the caresses 
she had received. What would her mother have thought ! 
Should she — ought she — to confess the truth to her ? But 
then poor Luke's disgrace must come out ! She was glad 
to be relieved of the struggle in her mind by this conviction. 
No ; she would shield poor Luke. She had a conviction 
that Rhoda was not fond of Luke. Rhoda would tell 
Joseph Sturm ; for Rhoda would learn the truth from their 
mother, who never concealed anything from her favourite 
daughter. 

Mabel would marry her new acquaintance, she felt sure. 
She had an inward conviction that she was to belong to 
him. Her father and mother would not consent to receive 
him as a son-in-law unless he belonged to the Society of 
Friends ; but he would do so, no doubt. She tried to fancy 
him in a collarless coat like that of Joseph Sturm ; but by 
no freak of that fickle power could she trace any resem- 
blance between the ready, gallant, polished gentleman and 
the slow, plain, coarse-looking man of business. 

She thought of her new friend's readiness to remain 
at the hotel to see her, and felt a quiet triumph at the re- 
membrance that Joseph Sturm had left his Rhoda's house, 
and town, because, from the unexpected arrival of Friends, 
he could no longer have a bed without paying for it at the 
hotel. It would be difficult to account for her lover's first 
introduction to her. That must be thought of, and pro- 
vided against. And Mabel fell asleep happily, with the 
remembrance of his kisses on her mouth, and a conviction 
of future happiness in a life which was to be passed with a 
man with whose name even she was unacquainted, and of 
whose character and pecuniary resources she was utterly 
ignorant. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 




" I thought of her face so bright, 
By the fire-light bending low 
O'er her work so neat and white, 
Of her voice so soft and slow, 
Of her tender-toned ' Good-night ! ' " 

Owen Meredith. 

ETURNED to his hotel, Mr. Tresillian laid his 
aching head on his pillow, and felt rather dis- 
turbed by the conviction that his face would be 
anything but beautified by the red, yellow, and 
purple discoloration of the skin which he expected to see 
by daylight. His admiration for the beautiful Quakeress 
was but secondary to his sense of personal discomfort. He 
to her was to be the love of a life ; she to him was but as 
one of fifty transient inclinations. So, he was glad to go to 
sleep and forget the uneasiness of his bruises, and she was 
glad to keep awake and think he had received them in her 
defence. 

When Mabel awoke next morning, she flushed crimson 
with pleasure and shame at the recollection of the past 
night. She was early alive to her duties, however, and 
exactly as the clock struck eight, she was in her place in the 
breakfast-room, making tea and distributing milk-and-water 
and buns to the younger children ; after she had folded her 
plump white hands, and sat in silence for a space, before 
her, she began her morning meal. The children wriggled 
themselves up into their stools, small in the seat and straight 
backed, so as to admit of no repose to the spine from any 
change of position. Those, whose legs could reach the 
ground from the height of the seat, found their feet im- 



Sabina. 203 

prisoned in an oblong piece of deal board, which turned out 
the toes and brought the heels together. 

Why a Friend like Mrs. Snow should have desired thus to 
force the extremities of her children into a position like that 
of a dancing-master, when she would have considered danc- 
ing as a quick movement leading to the infernal regions, I 
don't know, excepting that few persons are ever thoroughly 
consistent. 

When Mabel had given the children their breakfast, she 
stole softly to Luke's room, to see if he were awake. 

His head was turned towards the wall, and she could not 
see his face, but she put her hand on his shoulder. " Luke, 
it is time for thee to get up." 

The response was a kick under the bedclothes and a 
grunt. 

" Thou wilt be too late for thy class in school." 

" I don't care." 

"Oh ! but thou dost care. Shall I bring thee thy break- 
fast?" 

This was said in a low voice, overwhelmed at the enormity 
of the proposition. 

"My head aches, and I don't want anything to eat. Bring 
mcsome water to drink." 

Mabel got some fresh cold water, and when he had drunk, 
she bathed his head with the remainder. 

" That will do. Leave me alone, Mabel. Go away." 
And Mabel went. 

She went through her duties mechanically, a troubled 
pleasure giving a tinge of colour to her delicate cheeks, and 
a soft light to her blue eyes. 

She had nothing to divert her from dwelling on the image 
of her lover in meditations, where 

" Hope and memory made a mingled joy." 

Her reading had been restricted to a few devotional books ; 
"The Life of Margaret Woods," Moore's "Practical Piety," 
and " The Influences of the Spirit Exemplified in Passages 
from the Lives of Friends." 

Mabel had read them often, and knew them by heart. 
She and her sisters had been taught French, but for what 
purpose it would be difficult to say, unless to read, " Eliza- 



204 Sabina. 

beth, or the Exiles of Siberia," by Madame Cotton, in the 
original, the only harmless work Friend Snow had found in 
that language. No intercourse with the Continent was 
possible in those days of general warfare, so none spoke 
French unless to some unfortunate emigre who had fled 
to England from the terrors of the revolution in the last 
century. 

Thus Mabel found that running darning-cotton with in- 
tense precision into the toes and heels of stockings and 
socks, did not materially interfere with her thoughts of the 
visitor she expected at night. She speculated as to the im- 
propriety of the act, but shut her eyes to the suggestion that 
it might be wrong. She would ask him what he thought, 
and arrange with him for future and open meetings. She 
must not compromise Luke, of course not. 

" The lout fought well," said Mr. Tresillian next morning, 
as he looked at his disfigured face. " I must remain in my 
room till I can keep my appointment with my fair Quakeress. 
She cannot possibly object to discoloration, which is the 
result of blows received in her behalf." 

He meditated on his adventure. The wealth visible in 
the whole house, though kept in subjection to the eye by the 
gravity of the colours, was so evident, and the refinement of 
Mabel's manners and tone so marked, that he did not dare 
to consider her as an object of legitimate license. She had 
the simplicity and artlessness of a child, a Juliet who had 
never read a line of Shakespeare, who never dreamed of any 
but chaste and honourable love. 

He wished to be rid of the adventure without further 
worry to himself or distress to her ; but here he was laid up 
by a disfigured face for at least a week, and only presentable 
at owl's light. And after he had read the "Times" and 
the " Courier," only three days old on their arrival at the 
pretty town of Trevedra, he was fain to ask Mr. Prout, the 
landlord, for the loan of some books, and obtained a " Life 
of Mrs. Robinson " (" Perdita"), and some account of her 
treatment by the meanest of royal scoundrels, and the cor- 
respondence between the Duke of York and Mrs. Clark, 
with a portrait of the lady as a frontispiece, so charmingly 
piquante, with its bright eyes, turned up nose, rather full lips, 
and perfection of figure, that Mr. Tresillian Avondered not at 
the Duke's infatuation. 



Sabi/ta. 205 

When he had looked through these records of folly, he 
found "Chiffney's Defence of the Prince of Wales for 
Cheating on the Turf," and tossed it away contemptu- 
ously. The thought of the pure-minded and beautiful 
Quakeress was refreshing after such disgraceful records ; 
and he waited impatiently till the hour arrived for meeting 
her. It would have been better not to go, probably, but he 
had promised, and should have had a contempt for himself 
as being deficient in gentleman-like bearing, had he failed 
in his politeness to a woman, and to a beautiful woman 
especially. 

When the hour appointed came, he flung a cloak over 
hirri and proceeded to the garden-gate. He tried it, and 
it gave way to his pressure ; and under the cypress, shiver- 
ing with nervousness rather than cold, was the slender form 
of the Quakeress. She looked ghostly in her light- 
coloured dress, for the brown shawl, in which she had 
wrapped herself to come out, had fallen in large stiff folds 
to her feet. 

She put forth her hand into that of Mr. Tresillian, and 
then stooped to repossess herself of the shawl. He placed 
it on her shoulders without any word but one of murmured 
endearment, and she drew him on towards a large alcove, 
where they might be sheltered from the night wind. 

Seated there, Mr. Tresillian placed his arm round that of 
his darling, and would have drawn her closely to his side : 
but Mabel withdrew herself gently, and said — " I pray thee, 
Friend, remove thy arm, which is inconvenient for breath- 
ing, or, indeed, for the conversation I would hold with thee. 
Thou hast been very kind to me, and last evening I showed 
thee that I was sensible thereof. I wish to have thy advice, 
Friend, and I would learn from thee what is thy name, and 
where thou dost abide. Thou seest I am, as it were, alone 
in the house, for my brother, my poor Luke is unable to 
advise me, and I would that they should know of thy love 
and tender dealings towards me. Yet I would screen him, 
if I could, from their censure." 

" What an extraordinary girl ! " was Mr. Tresillian's 
thought ; but he was silent for a space, and then answered 
the first part of her questions. "My name is Wilfred Tre- 
sillian. I am the second son of the late Lord Trelusa. I 
live in chambers at the Albany generally, as a bachelor : that 



206 Sabina. 

is my home, but I stay frequently at my brother's house, 
Tregear, near Deepindale, where my mother, Lady Sarah 
Trelusa, is now on a visit. I am a Member of Parliament 
for Deepindale, as you may have heard." 

" I knew it not," said the girl. " I only see thee as thou 
art — most fair, most manful, most gentle — and so I love 
thee, and will be thy wife, if that thou seest fit to ask me in 
marriage of my parents : as Joseph Sturm asked for my 
Sister Rhoda to wife." 

"Who is Joseph Sturm ?" 

" He who is about to marry my sister. Dost thou know 
that my name is Mabel ? " 

" Yes, I know that. I learned it to-day from the people 
at the hotel. It suits us both — you to bear, I to use. Ma 
belle!" 

" I suppose it does not matter in French, but Friends do 
not call anything beautiful," said Mabel. 

" For what reason ? " said her lover. 

" Probably because 'full of beauty ' should not be applied 
to anything created, but to the Power only which creates 
all things." 

" Pretty creature," he murmured. 

" What wilt thou say to my parents — what canst thou say ? 
How canst thou ask their consent to our marriage when they 
will not know that we have ever met ? " 

" I will think over the subject and let you know, my 
friend. Do you ever go beyond these grounds?" 

" Yes : on first day we go all together to a Meeting of the 
Friends at Saltmarsh. The hill at Calcuick is very steep, 
and we always get out and walk." 

" I may say that I met you there ? " 

" But thou must meet me, or it will not be according to 
truth." 

" Then I will meet you," said her lover, smiling in the 
darkness, at the self-deception which persuaded her that 
to conceal the truth was not a falsehood acted, if not spoken, 
and at the simplicity which could imagine that seeing 
a young woman once, walking up a hill, was reason 
enough for asking her to ascend that "hill of difficulty," 
marriage. 

"Mabel," he said, gravely, "you have seen me twice. 
Suppose you should find qualities in my character, or facts 



Sabina. 207 

in my past life, which you disapproved. Then you would 
not like to marry me. Think of this, my child." 

" But I love thee ! And I am sure that thou art good." 

Mr. Tresillian could make no answer to this, but a 
pressure of his lips on the rosy mouth that had uttered so 
sweet an affirmation. 

He did not half like to be drawn into a marriage at his 
early age. He was not the head of the family as yet. In 
the future it might be his duty to ally himself to some titled 
lady — to some duke's daughter, as his father had done before 
him. A marriage with the daughter of a merchant, however 
wealthy, would be considered by his family as a m'esattiance. 

" My Mabel ! " he said, tenderly, " I could not at present 
ask your parents their consent to our marriage. A favour 
which one is anxious to obtain should always be prayed for 
face to face. You have not seen my unfortunate face in the 
daylight. It is so much disfigured by the blows I received 
last night that I could not show myself in your father's pre- 
sence without his inquiring how such injuries were received. 
Let me continue to visit you, either openly in midday at your 
home, or secretly in this garden at night. You shall decide 
the manner of our intercourse ; but let us associate for the 
present, and wait for favourable circumstances before I place 
my present happiness in hazard by asking for more." 

Mabel pondered. 

" If thou wert to visit me in the day, others might see thy 
wounded face, and ask wherefore it was injured. Moreover, 
my younger sisters would be present, to whom I set tasks of 
needlework, arithmetic and French. Thy coming would be 
an interruption to them, and their presence would be irk- 
some to thee. Whilst it is fine, thou shalt come to see me 
every night here. When it rains, I will think of thee in thy 
absence. I could not have thee run the hazard of taking- 
cold." 

She said this so tenderly and yet so modestly, that Mr. 
Tresillian, hardened roue as he was, was touched and 
charmed into something like real love. 

" Thus, then, they met nightly in the garden for a few 
consecutive evenings, but the climate of England is not so 
propitious as that of Italy for such assignations, and the 
time came when there was drizzly rain ; and this came on 
after the lovers had met. Mr. Tresillian complained of 



2o8 Sabina. 

cold, and Mabel led him tremblingly up to the house, and 
raked together the embers in the grate of the deserted 
drawing-room, and they sat and talked together hand in 
hand, Mabel's soft profile, with her smooth luxuriant hair, 
surmounted by the clear white cap, and French gray silk 
dress, with a snowy neckerchief crossed over her finely- 
formed bust, was illuminated by the warm light of the fire 
only. The candles she did not re-light, perhaps from fear 
of observation. 

In this delicious repose conversation was not needed to 
make the happiness of the pair. The scene and the girl 
were so unhacknied, so original in Mr. Tresillian's experience, 
that he desired nothing more for the present, than to sit by 
the side of the young Quaker girl, and gaze upon her 
beauty. Her trust in him was so unbounded that he felt it 
as a point of honour not to abuse it. Her love for him was 
so honest and truthful, so free from coquetry or thought of 
evil, that Satan himself might have hesitated before he whis- 
pered poisonous words in the ear of such an Eve. 




CHAPTER XXV 




" What wonder is it that ye know not men ? 
For here ye live demure, with downcast eyes, 
And humble, as your discipline requires ; 
But when let loose from thence to live at large, 
Your little tincture of devotion dies ; 
Then luxury succeeds, and set agog 
With a new sense of yet untasted joys, 
You fall with greedy hunger to the feast." 

Dryden. 

ABEL heard from her mother. Short letters from 
London in those days cost fourteen-pence. Long 
ones, or two sheets, twenty-two-pence. So that 
communication between families was unfrequent, 
and restricted in its quantity. 

"Dear Mabel, 

" We trust that you are well " (Quakers were proud 
that by the proper use of the pronoun more was implied by 
the Friends than .by the world generally. " You " here ap- 
plied to the household as well as to Mabel). 

" Thou hast, no doubt, been diligent with thy needle, and 
darned the feet and heels of thy brother's new socks. 

"Thy father and I desire to see thee and the dear 
children mightily ; but it hath seemed good to us to see all 
things done prudently and in order, for thy sister's welfare, 
when she shall be united in the bonds of marriage with 
Joseph Sturm. 

" Their union will take place shortly before the Friends 
assemble, and we only wait for the accomplishment of this 
great happiness for thy dear sister, to return to thee and to 
the others, our beloved children. 



2io Sabina. 

" I often think of thee, especially in the evenings, lest 
when the little ones sleep thou shouldest feel lonely; but 
thou hast thy dear Brother Luke as a companion, and it 
doubtless is pleasant to you both, that he should read some 
instructive book whilst thy fingers are busy with needlework. 
For this cause have I sent unto you both by the mail-coach, 
that thou mayest not find thy evenings wearisome, some 
passages in the life of one of the ancestors of Joseph Sturm, 
by name Michael Sturm, showing forth his trials in America 
when he accompanied the venerated William Penn, and dis- 
playing God's providence in supporting him, when the 
Indians rifled his dwelling and murdered his wife and in- 
fants. Tet did he not return railing for railing, but contrari- 
wise blessing. 

" By this my dear Luke will see what good things hath 
He laid up for those that love Him, so that seeming calami- 
ties are made crowning mercies when they are received 
aright. And I would that Luke should lay this to heart, as 
I have sometimes thought that he allowed his fancy to 
wander too much to those men of Moloch in red coats 
whom he has passed in going to the Meeting of the Friends 
on first day sometimes. 

"So I desire that you may be preserved in health and 
safety, and a pleasant condition of mind, till your father and 
I may be restored to you. Till then, farewell." 

Her sister wrote also — ■ 

" Dear Friend and Sister, 

"I have been much exercised in spirit at this my 
first separation from thee, and I fear that thou hast felt 
lonely in my absence. It will prepare thee, however, for 
that severance which must occur when I am the wife of 
Joseph Sturm, though I trust thou wilt take pleasure in 
coming to stay at Moscrow House with me and my future 
husband. Also it will be well for thee to conduct the house- 
hold at Trevedra, which I doubt not thou hast done, keep- 
ing all things decently and in order, which will prepare thee 
for ordering thy parent's house when I am with my husband, 
or if, perchance, the same good fortune may overtake thee, 
to be selected as the helpmate to a good man, such as my 
Joseph. 

" I pray thee take care of the bulbs of hyacinths, which 



Sabina. 211 

are in our sitting-room. They must be withered now. I 
have purchased for thee a convenient work-box, which con- 
taineth also writing materials. 

" One of the young Friends at the Meeting on first day 
had a cap of leno instead of muslin. For this cause a 
council of female Friends was convened on second day, 
and the young Friend was reproved. Also her mother, 
who had been cognizant of the fact, and had not prevented 
her daughter's infringement of the rules for Friends' dresses. 

•' On first day also our dear mother was exercised greatly 
in spirit, and manifested with mighty strength that which it 
was given unto her to utter. The subject thereof was the 
backsliding of a young Friend who had greatly tried her 
parents by her wilful determination to ally herself to one 
not of her own persuasion. She was " out read" from the 
Assembly of Friends, and her parents were much over- 
come by the disgrace. 

" I could not but consider myself highly favoured amongst 
women, that my duty and affection alike direct me to a union 
with that good man Joseph Sturm, and I trust that thou, dear- 
Mabel, mayest also, one day, find his equal to be thy yoke- 
fellow — his superior thou canst not find. 

" I shall send thee some gold-eyed needles for darning, 
when your mother sends the book for thee and Luke ; and 
thus I bid thee farewell." 

When Mabel read the above, she flushed with different 
feelings, the predominant one being indignation that Rhoda 
should exalt the man she was about to marry over the lover 
of Mabel, of whose existence she was unaware. 

Mabel was conscious, too, that Rhoda was exalting her- 
self also, triumphing over her, as it were, on the strength of 
her coming dignity as a married woman ; and, gentle as she 
was, she felt a feverish impatience to get the start of her 
sister in the matrimonial race. She thought how beautiful, 
how refined, was her Wilfred. How repulsive was the good 
Joseph. And her heart throbbed at the contrast the brothers- 
in-law would exhibit. She was scarcely troubled at the sub- 
ject of her mother's holding forth at the Friends' Meeting. 
True, Mr. Tresillian was not a Friend, but Friends were 
right in their views, and when those views were explained to 
Mr. Tresillian, he would see their justice, and adopt them. 
14—2 



212 Sabina. 

Thus, in the tender delicious dream of love, she overleapt 
obstacles insurmountable in real life, as in sleep, the dreamer 
floats through air, scales towers, and fathoms precipices, with- 
out the power of exercising judgment as to the impossibility 
of this achievement. 

Grown less apprehensive by habit, Mabel generally 
brought her lover into the house now ; for it was the month 
of October, and the nights were frequently wet, and always 
chilly. Luke Snow had been sullen, self-opinionated, when 
he did speak, and giving himself those airs of importance 
which most frequently accompany a weak brain inflated by 
vanity. 

Master Luke had been plucking fruits of the tree of know- 
ledge — of good and evil — and, instead of discovering that he 
was naked, he believed that he had clothed himself with 
glorious fruitage of knowledge which all must admire. 

It was unlikely that the woman, who had been his com- 
panion on the night of Mabel's adventure, should relax her 
hold on the son of the wealthy merchant, from whom she 
had received small sums only at that period, the youth 
having no others in his possession ; but he had told her 
that, when his father returned home, he was to be received 
as clerk in the bank, with a small share of the profits, and 
in the meantime Polly Best thought it would be agreeable 
to get within the four walls of Trevedra House to see " how 
the land lay," and whether there might not be some small 
articles that she might purloin, and use at the pawnbrokers' 
as deposits. 

Whilst Mabel met Mr. Tresillian in the garden, Luke 
Snow, who went out at the back of the house in the direc- 
tion of the stables, neither detected his sister in her nocturnal 
meetings, nor was himself discovered in his irregularities. He 
had become more wise under the tuition of his female com- 
panion, whose object it was to keep things quiet; and in- 
stead of defying Mabel and making a quarrel, he simply 
waited till he believed her and the household to be asleep 
before he left home, taking care to return before the servants 
were stirring in the morning. 

Had Mabel been less occupied by her love and her lover, 
she might have detected stealthy sounds in the house occa- 
sionally, when she was seated by his side in the dining-room 
or drawing-room, in whichever the fire burnt brightest ; more 



Sabina. 213 

frequently in the dining-room, which was on one side of the 
entrance-hall, and which did not necessitate the risk of 
ascending the stairs and the increased dread of detection. 

''Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret." I 
doubt whether Mr. Tresillian might have been satisfied had 
he met Mabel in her mother's drawing-room daily, and 
whether he would have found her conversation sufficiently 
piquant to have tempted him to return again and again to 
her presence. He delighted in the love she evinced towards 
him in every look, in every word she uttered — the love of a 
pure-minded girl, strictly modest, and carefully secluded 
from the world and its pollutions. He loved her in return, 
without being in love, as it is called, with her. He delighted 
to think he had inspired such an affection, bat he knew the 
preponderance was on her side — that for the thousand 
pounds in pure gold he received, he could give but a hun- 
dred in return; still the payment, such as it was, was in 
specie. 

It had been a gloomy evening, succeeded by a night of 
intense darkness — after more than six weeks had elapsed, 
spent in nightly meetings between the lovers, and on the 
night in question the dark, overhanging clouds began to give 
out a few large drops from their ragged edges — when Mabel 
led Mr. Tresillian into the dining-room. 

She was never weary of asking 'him to describe his life 
and its surroundings — his mother, his brother, and his 
nieces. What they did, what they liked to do — their homes 
and friends. In return, she showed him all her innocent 
ignorance of life, and spoke with awe of her mother, and 
tenderness of her father. He had to soften and subdue in 
his narrative ; for, gently dealt with as his facts might be, 
they were strong meat to babes. But Mabel had nothing 
to conceal, and was candid in all her revelations. 

They sat together this night, Mr. Tresillian, as usual, 
holding Mabel's soft, dimpled hand, sometimes spreading it 
over his knee, sometimes raising it to see the pink fire-light 
shine through the transparent fingers, Avhen the hand was 
suddenly raised in a listening position. 

" Hark ! What is that ? " she- cried. 

Mr. Tresillian listened, but heard nothing. 

" Some one is moving in the house. Oh ! what can I do 
with thee ? Where shall I hide thee ? " 



a 



214 Sablna. 

" There is nothing," replied her lover. 

"If Luke should have gone out again," murmured the 
girl. 

" Let him go ! " impatiently. 

" How canst thou ? " 

" Pardon me, dear Mabel ; but you are unreasonably 
fond of that youth," replied her lover, omitting the adjec- 
tive which his thought supplied. 

"Are we not told to 'love even our enemies, and to 
forgive our brother, not seven times, but seventy times 
seven ? ' " 

Mr. Tresillian answered not. 

Mabel went on : " I will tell thee what I will do, I will 
go softly and see if he be in his room ; he does not lock 
his door generally." 

She lit a candle, and went up stairs, leaving Mr. Tresillian 
lighted only by the glow of the embers, and returned pre- 
sently, with her face working with the effort to repress her 
sobs. 

" He is not there — he has not been in bed," and, with 
a burst of tears no longer to be repressed, " he has left 
the lighted candle close to the muslin window curtains." 

"Then, depend upon it, he will soon return," said Mr. 
Tresillian. 

" I do not think that fellows, for he was always careless 
about fire — poor Luke ! " 

" Let me see if the outer doors are fastened ; he may be 
in the house," said her lover. 

The back door had been unbolted and opened, and the 
noise Mabel had heard was its closing again. 

" He is gone," said Mabel, leaning her head on Mr. 
Tresillian's arm, and weeping bitterly. " Thou didst save 
him once, and this time it may not be in thy power." 

Mr. Tresillian felt by no means disposed to try, even for 
the sake of Mabel. 

Luke Snow had not long left the house before the 
rain came down in torrents, and dashed itself against 
the dining-room windows, as it was flung in angry jerks 
by the wind. 

" Luke is out in this bitter weather," said Mabel. 

" I think I had better go into the bitter weather also," 
said Mr. Tresillian; "for I do not think he will stay 



Sabina. 215 

out in it long, and it will not be agreeable for him to find 
me here." 

" Oh ! thou canst not go ! Stay — I will hide thee, if he 
returns. Thou canst hide behind these window-curtains." 

" Pardon me, sweet Mabel. I cannot conceal myself. If 
he finds me here he must take the consequences ; but for 
his own disgraceful conduct, I should never have known the 
happiness of loving you." 

They stood together, notwithstanding, in silent perplexity, 
Mr. Tresillian trying to make up his mind as to what posi- 
tion he should assume should Luke Snow return, Mabel's 
memory and imagination following her brother all through 
the darkness and rain down towards the mill, the roaring 
waters of which had ever filled her childish heart with dread, 
when she passed the unfenced depth in which the wheel 
revolved. Then, if he passed that danger safely, there was 
the broad, deep Leat, with the single plank and no hand- 
rail, which must be surmounted if he intended to reach the 
town ; and whither else could he intend to go this wild night ? 

Mabel regarded her lover anxiously. She had a dim and 
vague conviction that he could follow her brother and bring 
him back, if he would. He had done so once, wherefore 
should he not do so again? She knew nothing of the town, 
excepting of that part which she passed on first day, going 
to meeting ; but with the desire that her lover should leave 
her to seek Luke, came the dread lest he should be exposed 
to the storm ; and the indecision made her silent and in- 
active. 

Mr. Tresillian did not care whether or no he braved the 
elements ; but he fancied that Mabel would be both help- 
less and unhappy should her brother stay out all night, or 
return in a state of intoxication, and be, perhaps, noisy and 
quarrelsome, or stupid and half insensible. He desired to 
be free from a very unpleasant predicament, but saw no way 
of escaping without great personal sacrifices, or without be- 
having shabbily to a young creature who seemed to be 
devoted to him. 

" I can do nothing for him in this darkness," said Mr. 
Tresillian, " he has probably attained to some shelter within 
doors, where I, not knowing his haunts, could never find 
him." 

" But thou didst find him before ? " 



2 1 6 Sabina. 

" My child, I followed the crowd of revellers, and they 
dropped off one by one and left him lying insensible, and I 
returned to the hotel and procured the aid of my _ own 
servants. I have nothing to guide me now. I am willing 
to do anything to serve you, Mabel. I will go or I will 
remain. My advice to you is, to let me go, and to confide 
your brother's having left the house to the most trustworthy 
of your father's servants." 

" They would tell — they would tell the mother," said the 
poor girl, wringing her plump fingers. "And Luke, what 
will become of him ? " 

" You are unwise to place yourself in the power of such a 
brother," said her lover, with some irritation ; " a brother 
who could stand by and see his sister insulted." 

" He was not himself, alas ! " cried the girl. 

Mr. Tresillian said no more then ; but with all his affec- 
tion for Mabel he felt he should have liked to shake her. 

Mabel, like all weak people, lost the time which pressed 
for action in indecision. She clung to Mr. Tresillian's arm ; 
she wished to have his aid and the comfort of his presence, 
whilst nothing but a chivalrous feeling prevented his leaving 
her and returning to the hotel. 

That which she could not decide, was settled by circum- 
stance. 

Polly Best had been urged to obtain money, or money's 
worth, by the man she really cared for, from the youth who 
was her gull. Tim Brown was connected with a gang of 
burglars, and it was their object to get Polly into the mer- 
chant's house, and learn if possible the plan of the rooms, 
the nature of the fastenings, and what plunder might be the 
reward of their exploit, should they succeed. They did not 
expect money — nothing of importance; for Friend Snow 
was a merchant not likely to keep cash in the house ; but 
they knew that he had had fine plate before he joined the 
society of Friends, and expected, not unreasonably, that, as 
part of the family were still at home, it would not all have 
been sent to the bank. 

Consequently, Polly Best, notwithstanding the threatening 
of the night, went out to meet Luke Snow, and lay in wait 
for him in the lane which he must pass after crossing the 
Leat, before he reached the Hillside Almshouses. 

She was shivering with cold, and told him she would walk 



Sabina. 217 

back with him as far as his father's house, as her father 
was at home, and would "kick up the Devil's delight" 
should she bring her Luke to their cottage. 

She said nothing then about being admitted to the house, 
trusting to chance to befriend her : but she was unusually- 
gentle and tender in her manner to the boy, whom she 
generally ruled, as bullies are best governed — by harsh 
measures. They reached the house door. 

" Oh, Luke, dear ! the cold have got hold of the very 
marrow of my back. Could you bring me out a drop of 
brandy, or rum, or gin, to warm my poor body ? " 

The rain had come down in torrents by this time, and 
Polly Best had only summer clothing ; for though October 
had come, she had neither money nor credit for the pur- 
chase of seasonable habiliments. 

" Yes, I dare say you are wet enough ; so am I, for that 
matter. I don't know about brandy, but I think there is 
some capital port wine in the dining-room. You stay here, 
and I will go and fetch it." 

He departed to get a candle, and Polly, standing within 
the shelter of the house, took from her pocket a tinder-box 
and struck a light, for in those days lucifer matches had not 
been invented, and examined carefully the locks, bolts, and 
bars of the outer door, and measured the thickness of the 
staples in which they were embedded. 

She had time to accomplish this ; for though Mabel had 
the key of the sideboard Luke Snow had another, which he 
had often found useful for his own comfort when the family 
were in bed and asleep, and this key he proceeded to his 
desk to fetch. 

He had opened the back door so softly, that neither Mr. 
Tresillian nor Mabel had heard it, though they were intent 
on every sound. He did not mean to awake his sister 
Mabel and let her find out his theft of the wine. He could 
get at the key of the cellar which was kept in the sideboard, 
but there was no time for that now, and no necessity. The 
port wine had remained in the cellaret since the last time a 
sick neighbour had needed it, and he could replace it from 
the cellar before Mabel found it out. Softly as he came 
along the passage, Mr. Tresillian and Mabel heard his foot- 
steps on the floor-cloth and remained motionless, as he 
opened the door stealthily and came into the room. 



2 1 8 Sabina. 

Mabel was sitting near the table, partly enveloped by the 
brown shawl she had worn when she went through the garden 
to admit Mr. Tresillian. He was leaning on the chimney- 
piece, nearly obscured by shadows which the dull red light 
of the decaying fire was insufficient to dissipate. Luke 
Snow, entering with the lighted candle in his hand, was 
clearly visible to them, whilst he did not observe the 
lovers. 

The room was large, and his attention was occupied by 
what he was engaged in. 

Mabel looked intently at her brother in astonishment at 
his possessing her key to the sideboard ; for the idea of a 
duplicate did not suggest itself to her innocent mind, and 
her hand stole down to her pocket to be sure whether or not 
she had lost her own. With breathless wonder, which 
banished every thought of self, she observed him fill a 
tumbler, which he had brought from his bed-room, with 
port wine, and drink it off to the last drop ; then he refilled 
it so plenteously that it threatened to run over, and to 
prevent this, and save the carpet from the tell-tale stain, 
he stooped his head to the glass, intending to take as 
much as would enable him to carry it without spilling, 
to his companion at the door ; but Mabel, whose educa- 
tion had taught her that drunkenness was a sin that 
excluded from heaven, and terrified at the state of insensi- 
bility to which she had seen him reduced on a former 
occasion, forgot everything else in the desire she felt to save 
him from present and future peril, from impending disgrace 
and future despair, and walked swiftly across the room, 
snatching the tumbler from his shaking hand, spilling half 
its contents on the floor. 

"Luke!" she said impressively, "thou shalt not drink 
this wine ; thou hast drunk too much already." 

" How ! What ! Mabel ! Leave the wine alone ; 'tis 
mine. I'm master here now they are away. What keeps 
thee up at this hour ? Go to bed. How darest thou inter- 
fere with me ? I'll drink all the wine in thq cellar if I 
choose. Let go my arm, wilt thou ? " and he flung her off 
with such violence that she staggered across the room, and 
only saved herself from falling by clinging to a chair. 

Mabel recovered herself on seeing her brother about to 
refill the half-emptied tumbler with wine. 



Sabina. 219 

" If thou dost that, I will complain to our father of thee, 
Luke ! How canst thou be so sinful ? " 

" Hold thy tongue, and be d d," exclaimed the angry 

youth. " I shall do what I please ; " and as she imprudently 
tried to seize the decanter, the degraded coward hit her a 
blow on the face. She reeled back with a faint cry, and 
Mr. Tresillian rushed forward, unable any longer to remain 
a quiet witness of such a scene, and shook Luke Snow 
violently by the cellar, saying with clenched teeth, — 

'' You cowardly scoundrel ! I'll shake every breath out of 
your body ! " 

As he left him free, Luke looked up astonished. 

" Eh ! what ! Who the devil art thou? What dost thou 
here ? Here, with my Sister Mabel ! " recovering his breath. 
" Here in the middle of the night, alone with her ! " 

Now these were exclamations more easily made than 
answered, and Mr. Tresillian gave no explanation ; indeed, 
he had no time ; for Polly Best having found out all that 
was necessary on the side of the house through which she 
had entered, had extinguished her light, and following the 
murmur of angry voices, had stationed herself at the door, 
and became acquainted with the fact that there were two 
couple of lovers in the house by stealth instead of one 
couple. 

She had seen Mr. Tresillian frequently in his ingress and 
egress from Prout's Hotel, and believed that his designs on 
Mabel were as illicit as hers on Luke Snow. She had " kept 
company " with gentlemen before every bit as good as he, she 
argued ; though that was when she was younger. The rain 
pattered dismally outside the house, her thin and scanty 
clothing clung to her shivering frame, and the warmth of the 
glowing embers was tempting. Why should they not all sit 
round and be comfortable, she thought ; and she bobbed a 
courtesy to the company generally as she stood at the door, 
and edged herself into the room. 

" Begging your pardin, gentlefolks, the rain is hard, and 
my clothes is wet, and if the young lady allows I should like 
a warming at this here fire." 

Suiting the action to the word, she drew a chair up, and 
placing her saturated and mud-covered boots on the fender, 
was soon enveloped in the steam, which rising from her 
wet clothes, enveloped her in a mist. 



220 Sabina. 

" Luke ! " gasped Mabel, " who is this friend ? Wherefore 
hast thou brought her here ? " 

" No harm, Miss Snow. Your brother and I is old ac- 
quaintance ; and as I was reeking wet, he promised me a 
glass of something comfortable to drink. You've yot your 
sweetheart — I've got mine. I don't see a pin to choose 
between us — not I. I warrant me the old Quakers would 
open their eyes as much on account of one as t'other." 
Then, in a whisper to Luke, " Don't thee be put upon. Ask 
him why he is here alone with your Sister Mabel." 

" Yes, indeed — you Sir — what's your name ? What do 
you mean by being alone with my Sister Mabel ? " 

Mabel went timidly across the room, and placed her 
hand on Mr. Tresillian's coat. 

He turned angrily on Snow. 

" Take that woman out of the room, Sir, and do not let 
her presence pollute your innocent sister." 

" Oh bother ! If you come to that," said Polly, " I don't 
see a pin to choose between the Quaker's daughter and me. 
I'll warrant Mr. Tresillian aint making sheep's eyes at her 
for nothing in the dead of night here." 

Here Mr. Tresillian's patience was exhausted, and crossing 
the room, he seized Polly's arm, and taking the candle in 
the other hand, he led her out into the hall. He opened 
one of the doors, and found it led into the kitchen, in 
which there was still fire enough remaining to warm the 
shivering woman, and leaving the candle with her, he re- 
turned to the dining-room. 

Mabel sat weeping at the table, and Luke, partly ashamed 
of his companion, partly defiant from finding out his sister's 
delinquencies, went on reiterating, " But what is that man 
doing here ? What business has he to be with thee at this 
time of the night ? " 

" The right of being her future husband," said Mr. 
Tresillian, firmly, whose chivalrous feeling made what he 
felt to be a sacrifice of himself imperative for Mabel's 
reputation. 

" Thou her husband ! Thou art not a Friend ? " said the 
youth. 

Mr. Tresillian replied not, but placed Mabel's arm within 
his. 

" I will start for London at once," he said, "and apply 



Sabinct. 



221 



for your parents' permission to marry you. Give me the 
address." 

Mabel, sobbing, tore the cover from an old letter, and 
wrote it for him. 

"Wine ! you promised me wine," said Polly Best, putting 
her head in at the door. 

" Give her the wine ! " said Mr. Tresillian, angrily to Luke 
Snow, " and let her remain in the kitchen till the rain has 
ceased. For yourself, you had better retire to your room, 
and learn to treat your sister with more respect." 

" Thou mayest be d — d," said Luke ; " if Mabel is too 
fine for Polly, I'll sit in the kitchen with my girl. I think, 
however, fine Sir, thou countest thy chickens before they are 
hatched, when thou speakest of marrying Mabel Snow. 
Friends do not wear clothes like thine, and none but a 
Friend will be permitted to marry Walter and Rachel Snow's 
daughter." 

Thus saying, he took the decanter of wine and retired to 
the kitchen. 

Mr. Tresillian remained trying to comfort the unhappy 
Mabel, who, weeping yet from the agitation of the scene, 
was consoled by her reliance on her lover. All would go 
right in his hands, she was convinced. So she dried her 
tears, and Mr. Tresillian waited till Luke Snow had let out 
the woman, and they heard his heavy and uncertain steps 
on the stairs leading to his own room. Then Mr. Tresillian 
embraced Mabel tenderly, and bade her farewell, intending, 
if possible, to catch the night mail to London, if not, to 
post up, for the purpose of demanding Mabel in marriage of 
her parents. 

When Luke Snow had dismissed Polly Best and finished 
the decanter of wine, of which I regret to say he drank the 
greatest share, he retired to his room and slept off the effect 
of his potations. He awoke next day with a cloudy sense of 
discomfort on his mind, on which the image became distinct 
by degrees, as the mists of sleep were dispelled, like as the 
figures on the glass of the magician gather themselves into 
form and consistency; but with this difference, that no en- 
chanter's wand can, in real life, dissipate the disastrous com- 
binations which swarm upon our awaking. 

It was a proof of the intense selfishness of Luke Snow's 
character, that the only gleam of comfort afforded by his 



222 Sabina. 

morning's retrospection of the transactions of the night 
arose from his conviction of his sister's transgression ; for in 
that transgression lay his safeguard from blame. 

He set himself to address his father and mother as follows. 
It must be conceded that he was sincere in his statement ; 
that he knew nothing of Mr. Tresillian's acquaintance with 
his sister, for Mabel had not enlightened him on the subject, 
it being a fact of which she was chary of speaking, both on 
her own account, and because she did not wish to remind 
him of his degraded state, which had led to her meeting with 
Mr. Tresillian : — 

" November i, 18 — . 

"My Respected Parents, 

" It is with deep sorrow I write that which will give 
pain to you both ; but without circumlocution I will inform 
you of what has come to my knowledge with regard to my 
dear but erring Sister Mabel. 

" Last night, after I had been some time asleep — I retire 
to rest a few minutes before ten o'clock, not forgetting to 
meditate deeply before laying my head on my pillow, on all 
that I have accomplished or omitted in the day past, de- 
termined to act with increased diligence on that which is 
about to dawn — I heard amidst the beating of the rain 
against the window, a cry as if of a human being in pain or 
distress. My beloved parents have taught me to give to 
him that asketh not, and from him that is in want to turn 
not away ; so I dressed myself, and having obtained a light, 
I opened the back door, and found a poor wayfarer drenched 
by the rain and shivering in the bitter wind, and faint nigh 
unto death. 

" So I said unto myself, ' When saw ye any a-hungred 
and athirst and gave not unto them, so much as ye did it 
not to them ye did it not to me.' 

" I knew where Mabel had left the key of the sideboard, 
and I left the stranger at the door to get some wine to sup- 
port her sinking frame ; but when I reached the dining- 
room what a scene met my aggrieved sight — Mabel sat 
there by the fire with a strange friend — if friend he may be 
called, who is a man of violence and wrong. First, Mabel 
strove to prevent my carrying the wine to the fainting 
'stranger within the gate,' and then that man of Belial, 



Sabina, 223 

when I persisted in my work of charity, smote me violently, 
sundry times, so that I was compelled to escape and place 
the poor wanderer for warmth before the kitchen fire, 
whence she departed shortly after nourished and com- 
forted ; for like the Good Samaritan I gave her sixpence 
from my pocket-money. With regard to my Sister Mabel, 
my dear parents, you will do that which seemeth good unto 
you ; but I would prefer an humble petition that you would 
deal gently with this erring child. I do not know how she 
came to have knowledge of this violent man, but he pro- 
fessed a determination to marry her, which saying on his 
part appeared greatly to exalt her spirits. I believe he will 
shortly appear before you. He is a brother of that godless 
man Henry, commonly called the Lord Trelusa, whose days 
are passed in riot and drunkenness, in which particular 
doubtless his brother resembles him. 

" The children are well. I grieve, dear parents, that this 
woeful intelligence should come to damp the joy which the 
preparations for my Sister Rhoda's prosperous marriage 
must naturally occasion you. Believe me that a strong 
sense of duty only both to you and to my sister could in- 
duce me to make this revelation ; and in great sorrow, 
" I remain your affectionate son, 

"Luke Snow," 

The writing of this letter looked like copper-plate. 
Writing and accounts were Luke Snow's great points, and 
for his proficiency therein he had obtained the prize of a 
beautiful silver pen from the grammar school at which he 
had been educated. 

Before Mabel had parted from her lover she had en- 
treated him in his application to her parents to spare as 
much as possible all mention of her Brother Luke's ir- 
regularities. He promised that he would keep silence on 
the subject; or, if hard pressed, would refer her parents to 
herself for information. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 




Marriage. 

" A slavery beyond enduring, 
But that 'tis of our own procuring : 
As spiders never seek the fly, 
But leave him of himself t' apply, 
So men are by themselves betrayed 
To quit the freedom they enjoyed, 
And run there necks into a noose 
They'd break them after to bieak loose." 

Hudibras. 

LL the chivalry of Mr. Tresillian's nature had been 
called into play in the scene in the Quaker's 
dining-room, and though he had no intention 
of shrinking from his avowed determination to 
demand Mabel in marriage, because as a gentleman he felt 
he could not do otherwise under the circumstances, yet it 
must be confessed that the necessity filled him with de- 
pression. Beautiful and innocent as was Mabel Snow, she 
was not the creature whom his imagination had painted as 
the companion of his future life. No ! his wife ought to be 
highly descended, perfectly accomplished, and exceedingly 
clever and spirtuelle. Mabel was very beautiful, but only 
respectable in her connections ; and with all the affectionate 
interest he felt towards her, he could not deny that her 
simplicity was carried to an excess, which was charming in 
the young Quakeress, but would be out of place in the 
future Mrs. Tresillian, and the possible Lady Trelusa. 

" But 'tis useless to look back," he meditated. " Perhaps 
the old Quakers will refuse me. What a blessing ! Yet 
if they know the state of Harry's health, I fear there is no 
hope of that. Yet it would make that poor girl very 



Sal>i na. 225 

miserable not to marry me ; so I must resign myself to my 
fate : after all, it will not be a hard one." 

So .Mr. Tresillian lost the mail coach, and posted up to 
London, which was a tedious manner of getting over the 
journey ; and Luke's letter reached the parents twenty-four 
hours sooner than the subject of it. 

Great was the grief and distress at Mabel's backsliding. 
Rachel Snow's anger was the greatest ; Walter Snow's regret. 

"Alas! Elizabeth!" he said, addressing Friend Snow, 
" we have overweighted, that delicate child with the respon- 
sibilities we laid on her." 

"Thou speakest as one bereft of judgment, Walter 
Snow," said his wife, whose will it had been to leave her 
home in Mabel's charge, and attend the Friends' quarterly 
meeting in London. " That evil-minded daughter must 
suffer for her sin, and repent, or be cast out from amongst us." 

" It is said of the man Tresillian, of whom our Luke 
writeth, that his wealth is abundant," said Walter Snow, 
regretfully. 

" ' How hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom 
of heaven,' " rejoined his wife. 

" Thou wilt hear what he hath to say ? " suggested the 
meek husband. 

" Verily, I will, and give him an answer also," was the 
decision of the wife. And the matter rested till the follow- 
ing day, when the female servant announced that a man not 
in the garb of a Friend, desired to have a meeting with 
Friend Snow, to converse with him touching an affair of 
importance. Men servants were not employed by Friends 
at the period of my story, as savouring too much of the 
pomps and vanities of the world. 

As the maid presented the card to Rachel Snow, Walter 
Snow read " Mr. Wilfred Tresillian, Albany." 

" Tell Friend Wilfred that we will receive him and hear 
his discourse," said the father of Mabel. 

In another instant Mr. Tresillian had entered the room, 
of which the walls were drab coloured, the curtains were 
drab merino, the chairs were oak covered with drab stuff, 
a table stood on four legs in the centre of the room, square 
in its shape— for round pillar-and-claw tables were considered 
as dangerous, because a fashionable innovation ; no pictures 
or glass ornamented the walls. The Friends took literally 
*5 



226 Sdbina. 

the commandment, " Thou shalt not make to thyself any 
graven image, nor the likeness of anything which is in 
heaven above or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under 
the earth ; " thus any representation of animal or vegetable 
life was considered sinful. Nothing could be more dreary 
and repulsive than this sitting-room, where, in addition to 
the Quaker and his wife, sat a maiden sister of the latter, to 
whom the house belonged. 

There was a physical difference in the appearance of the 
sisters, though their dress was identical. Each sister had 
some gray knitting before them, which, from its being armed 
by four small shining pins and by its nondescript form, might 
be intended for a future stocking. The male Friend had 
just been reading aloud some serious book, Which he laid on 
the table, carefully placing a mark in it first. 

Mrs. Snow was plump and well-favoured ; her sister, 
Miss Den, was evil-looking and meagre — withered in form, 
and sour in expression — more sullen, though less passionate, 
than Mrs. Snow. 

A contrast was formed by the appearance of the young 
man who now entered, and who, bringing his feet into the 
dancing master's fourth position, made a bow of his head 
only, keeping his back erect, which brought his rounded chin 
on the deep cambric double-frilled shirt which adorned his 
chest. 

Having executed three of these movements addressed to 
each person in the company, he stood erect, a fine specimen 
of beautiful and well-developed manhood, with blooming 
health to tint his cheeks, and a profusion of light curls, 
worn in what was called a Brutus crop, waving over his 
white and. well-formed forehead. 

The female Friends sat still, with a slight movement to 
acknowledge the civility, but Friend Snow could not forget 
his former habits, and with the instincts of a gentleman, he 
placed a chair for the guest, saying, " I beg thee to be 
seated." 

When Mr. Tresillian had rung at the bell, he had 
wished in his whole heart that he might be refused the 
petition he was about to make ; but the sight of the 
antagonistic countenances of the two women made him 
resolve to carry his point, were it only to overcome their 
opposition. 



Sabi/ia. 227 

There was a moment's pause after he was seated, which 
was broken by Friend Snow, who said, " May I ask thee, 
friend, wherefore thou art come ? " 

" I am come," said Mr. Tresillian, " to say that I have 
become warmly attached to your daughter Mabel, and 
would gladly have your permission and that of her mother 
to woo her consent to become my wife. My means are 
ample, and I am, and ever have been on principle, free 
from debt. You shall have no reason to complain of the 
settlement I am willing to execute on your daughter, and 
on my children by her. For information on these points I 
would refer you to my lawyers, Messrs. Holdfast and 
Clutch." 

li I thank thee, Friend Tresillian," said Mr. Snow, and 
was again silent. 

His benevolent but rather weak expression was troubled. 
He would have given Mabel to her suitor, gladly, had 
his means equalled his statements, and had Mrs. Snow 
been out of the way. He was attracted by the charm of 
Mr. Tresillian's manner and appearance, and thought, as 
did Mabel, that he differed much from Joseph Sturm. 

The female Friends only crossed their arms over their 
laps and gave expression to a deep groan. 

" May I inquire," said Friend Snow, with some natural 
curiosity, " how thou didst first obtain speech of my 
daughter Mabel, and how long thou hast known her ? " 

" On these points I must refer you to her," said Mr. 
Tresillian. 

" I have heard that thou wert seen in my house in her 
company at an unseemly hour of the night." (Deeper 
groans from the female Friends). " Dost thou consider 
it a fit time to see a young maiden, when sleep had 
fallen, as far as thou didst know, on every other member 
of the family ? Dost thou consider such conduct as likely 
to recommend thee to the parents of the young maiden ? " 

" That my intentions towards your daughter were 
honourable, I am here to vindicate. Anything eccentric 
in the hour of my visits, Miss Mabel Snow can explain 
clearly to you." 

" I trust she may be able to do so," said the father. 

But Mrs. Snow, seeing that her husband was, as she im- 
agined, losing ground in the conference, broke in. 



228 Sabina. 

" Friend Tresillian, we know nothing of thee, excepting 
this — that thou desirest to marry our daughter, and that 
thou hast visited her probably sundry times and in divers 
places without our knowledge or permission. In this thou 
hast sinned, and hast caused thy weaker sister to sin. 
Thou comest now, saying, what shall I do that you may 
give me your daughter to wife ? Friend, consider thy ap- 
pearance ! Think of thy outward adornment, and how 
fearful a sin it is to waste so much of thought and money 
on striving to make thyself as much of an ape as those of 
rank higher even than thine own. Look at that high rolling 
collar round the top of thy coat, thy waist buttoned in till 
thy figure resembles that of a wasp, thy metal buttons, two 
useless ones behind, thy so-called Hessian boots, with things 
called tassels dangling in front, thy hat without a brim suf- 
ficiently wide to shade thy face. Friend, cast away these 
follies— unite thyself with a meek and teachable spirit to the 
Society of Friends — give to it a sufficient portion of thy 
wealth, such as the Council of Friends shall decide, and 
when they have admitted thee into our community, we will 
decide whether thou art a helpmate fit for our daughter 
Mabel." 

Mrs. Snow's voice, in ordinary conversation, was agreeable ; 
but when preaching in a full assembly of Friends, or making 
a speech as on the present occasion, her voice ceased to be 
impressive, and went off into a whine. 

At first Mr. Tresillian, who was a singularly good-tempered 
young man, felt amused by her tirade against his personal 
appearance; but by degrees he became impatient, though 
waiting with exemplary politeness till she had finished. 
Then he replied — ■ 

" 1 think, Madam, you would have reasonable grounds for 
contempt of my principles, could I throw away the habits 
and convictions of twenty-eight years to adopt those of a 
peculiar sect, on no more serious basis than a desire to wed 
your daughter. Deeply as I value her, I fear my suit must 
be considered as ended, if such obstacles are thrown in my 
way. This must ever be a subject of bitter regret to me, 
for I love Mabel Snow sincerely, and would willingly make 
any sacrifice to ensure her happiness." 

He rose. 

"Remember," said the mother, pointing her finger im- 



Sabhia. 



!2(j 



pressively at the lover, " I forbid thee to see or to write to 
her." 

"In that matter I shall clo that which I see fit, without 
reference either to your wishes or your commands," said 
Mr. Tresillian, flushing with indignation ; and with less 
of ceremony than he had shown on entering the room, he 
left it, with a stiff bow to the Quaker family, and opening 
the door himself, he jumped into his de/uid, and returned to 
his rooms in the Albany. 

Thus, a few hours after he wrote to Mabel, believing that 
she would receive the letter before her parents could in- 
terfere to prevent it : — 

"Albany, November, 18 — . 

" My beloved Mabel, 

" I have entreated for permission to marry you, and 
I have been refused with unmerited insult. 

" Under these circumstances, I feel it will be kinder for 
you, as well as for myself, that all intercourse should cease 
between us. I shall never cease to love you, and earnestly 
to desire your welfare. If you are willing to marry me con- 
trary to the wishes of your parents, and because I am dearer 
to you than those who have claims of kindred, write to me 

at , Albany, and I will contrive to meet you and carry 

out your wishes ; but I will not urge on you a course that 
may make your future life full of bitterness and disappoint- 
ment. I cannot become one of your sect, sweet Mabel 
can you live my life and be happy with me, cast off by your 
parents, and dismissed from your community? Choose, 
dear Mabel, after due deliberation, and let me know your 
determination after the lapse of a week. 

" Your ever affectionate 

"Wilfred." 

Mr. Tresillian gave a sigh of relief when he finished this. 
" Poor girl ! There, I have done my duty. I hope she 
will not accept my offer. At any event, I'm clear for a 
week, and now I'll enjoy myself." 

To Mabel, accustomed to the scrupulous veracity of the 
Friends, and to their unexaggerated style of conversation, 
the letter seemed perfect in the expressions of love it con- 
veyed. It was her first love-letter. The postman had 
brought it to the back-door when she had gone to the 



£> 



230 Sabina. 

kitchen to give her morning orders -to the cook. She took 
it unperceived by anyone, and with self command which 
astonished herself, she concealed it with the snowy kerchief 
which covered her delicate bosom, and wandered away 
through the autumn-tinted shrubbery till she was secluded 
from observation, to peruse and reperuse the letter till she 
knew it by heart. 

A violent struggle took place in the mind of the young 
Quakeress. She had fully believed that her Wilfred would 
give up his convictions and adopt those of her family, simply 
because she knew that they were in the right, and fancied 
that he only required to be directed in a straight path to 
follow it without effort or reluctance. 

The thought of her Wilfred, cast into outer darkness, 
where there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth, drove 
her to despair ; and Avith every desire to rescue him from 
such a fate, she had no intention of sharing it. It would be 
too dreadful. 

" Yet," argued Mabel, " is not the unbelieving husband 
sanctified by the wife ? For what knowest thou, oh Avife, 
whether thou shalt save thy husband?" 

He had given her a week for her decision, and this power 
of controlling her own destiny, drove her into the tortures of 
uncertainty for twenty-four hours — for that period she knew 
herself to be free to write to him without constraint — but of 
this independence she was to be deprived. 

" Friend Mabel ! " said the wife of a respectable trades- 
man of the Quaker persuasion, walking to meet her as she 
was trimming the withered roses from their stalks in the 
garden which had been the scene of so many meetings with 
Wilfred, " I have a letter from thy mother, who, know- 
ing it to be about the time when the drapery business would 
call me to London for the choice of winter goods, has com- 
missioned me to take thee up with me, doubtless that thou 
mayest be present at the union of thy sister with Friend 
Joseph Sturm. Doth not thy heart rejoice, and is not thy 
spirit glad at the prospect ? Thou wilt see all the pomps of 
the world and the vanities thereof; but thou wilt turn away 
thine eyes lest thou behold vanity." 

Mabel quivered with apprehension at the thought of meet- 
ing her parents ; but there was consolation. London did 
not seem to her imagination less circumscribed than the 



Sab ina. 231 

small town of T , and Wilfred was in London. She 

should see him pass the house. She should watch for him 
from the window. Her aunt's house did not stand in a 
garden like her own home, but in a street, and through this 
street of course Wilfred would, frequently ride or walk. 
What pleasure to catch even a glimpse of his figure, to hear 
the sound of his voice speaking to an indifferent person. 
She must not marry him ; but oh ! to see him once more — 
to feel the touch of his hand ! 

" I go up this evening, Friend Mabel. Perhaps thou 
couldest come in thy father's conveyance, and bring thy box 
and take me up with mine, to deposit us at Prout's Hotel at 
seven o'clock this evening. I will take two places in the in- 
side of the mail-coach, and I trust we may reach London in 
safety in three days' space." 

"I will not fail to be with thee," rejoined Mabel; "and 
now I beg thy excuse if I leave thee, for I have much to 
arrange for the children and servants before I leave home." 

Mabel had never before been inside a mail-coach, and the 
confined space and small windows seemed to suffocate her ; 
but under the experienced guidance of her conductor she 
was deposited safely at the door of Miss Den's house, which 
was situated in one of the smallest and dreariest of the 
streets at the West-end of London. A gaunt female opened 
the door, and Mrs. Milford, satisfied with having done her 
duty, asked if Friend Snow or Friend Den were at home, 
and hearing that the latter was, she left a message that she 
had brought Mabel, and hurried away to her own connec 
tions. 

Mabel was shown by the maid into her aunt's sitcing-room, 
which was at the back of the house. The front sitting-room 
was the best seemingly, and always kept locked and darkened, 
unless on great occasions. Miss Den kept the key ; the 
front bed-room was occupied by that lady, and a small one 
■t the back was appropriated to the use of Mabel. The 
back-room looked into a narrow slip of garden, in which the 
beds were covered with patches of black and green mould 
■d moss. There were a few straggling shrubs, which 
seemed determined to straggle, as all healthy growth was 
denied them. Some dilapidated trellis work, which had 
■MM been green, stood at the end of the bit of garden, and 
had once supported a Virginian creeper, which, like otker 



232 Sabina. 

dependants, had succeeded in overturning its stay, by 
superior weight and wilfulness. This slight fence had been 
meant to shut out from view a stable which belonged to the 
house ; but as Miss Den did not keep horses, it was let, and 
the door for ingress and egress was on the other side from 
the garden. A window which lighted the harness-room, 
looked into the garden ; but as neither Miss Den nor her 
maid was particularly attractive, they had never found them- 
selves troubled by any prying eyes directed towards their 
movements by curious grooms. 

This account of the locality is necessary for the clear 
understanding of the story which is to follow. 

When Mabel looked at her aunt's grim countenance, her 
heart sank within her. She had never met Miss Den since 
she was a child, and had forgotten her visage and gait. 

" Is my father here, or my mother ? " said the poor girl, 
timidly. 

" Thy parents have returned to the house thou didst prove 
thyself unfitted to hold. They have gone to perform the duties 
to their younger children, which thou didst neglect. Thou 
wilt not see them again till thou art brought to a better state 
of mind, and hast shown thyself penitent for thy sin." 

"Rhoda," inquired Mabel. " May I not see her?" 

" Rhoda was united yesterday morning to Joseph Sturm. 
She has departed to her husband's dwelling, and is happy." 

"Alas ! my sister ! thou hast no thought then of the un- 
happy Mabel." 

" Rhoda has chosen the good part that shall not be taken 
from her. The part of fulfilling the duties of her daily life. 
Trouble her not, then, with the knowledge of thy mis- 
conduct. We have concealed it from her hitherto." 

Mabel said no more. She was thankful for this at least. 
The rest of the day passed in silence. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

" Reason ! the power to guess at right and wrong ; 
The twinkling lamp 

Of wandering life that wakes and winks by turns, 
Fooling the follower betwixt shade and shining." 

Congreve. 




N the following morning, Miss Den brought into 
the sitting-room a large bundle of Irish, cut out 
into shirts, and gave Mabel a collar to stitch. 
Probably no lady of the present day is aware of 
the trial to the eyes resulting from stitching the collar of a 
shirt, when every separate stitch was severed and reunited 
by the industrious needlewoman. Mabel fancied, as these 
collars came up afresh, several in the course of each day, 
that the Friends to whom they appertained must have as 
many throats as the centipede had legs. Sometimes she 
rose and walked to the window, and looked into the little 
narrow garden bounded by its high walls. The stems of 
the virginian creeper delivered their fluttering leaves to the 
damp air and looked each day more naked and forlorn. 
Where were the populated streets on which she hoped to 
look down and find her lover? She was shut in a dungeon, 
as it were, a perfect prison-house, and her aunt and the 
gaunt maid were her jailors. 

" I cannot bear it ! I will seek him. I will marry him. 
I pine for a sight of him. Let me but see his face, but 
once, only once. Let me but feel his arms round me say- 
ing, ' Mabel, I love you.' Yet if I should entail on myself 
everlasting punishment for this love, if lie is to drag me 
down to perdition, oh ! let me be anywhere so it be with 
him ! " 



234 Sabma. 

These were Mabel's thoughts, repeated to herself in every 
variety of language, but ever with the same meaning. The 
struggle between her love and what she conceived to be her 
duty, threatened to make her reason totter on its throne. 
The week had passed, and she had not succeeded in obtain- 
ing any news of her lover. She had decided to accept his 
offer to marry her. She wrote to him thus : 

" Street, London, Nov. 

" Wilfred, 

" Like as the hart panteth for the water brooks, so 
longeth my soul after thee, my love. 

" My soul is compelled to dwell with those who are 
enemies to its peace. 

"Take me away, oh my beloved ! Make me thy wife. 
I will be thine, and do thy bidding in all things. 
" Thy wife that will be, 

"Mabel Snow." 

Mabel watched the butcher's cart as it came for orders 
one morning. As the gaunt Jane left the door to ask her 
mistress's orders, Mabel stepped down, held out the letter 
to the boy who drove it, and, with an agitated voice, begged 
him to post it for her. 

The boy did not understand what was said at first, but 
when he did, and held out his hand to receive the letter, a 
sudden and powerful grasp on Mabel's arm arrested it mid- 
way; and Jane, taking the letter from Mabel's trembling 
fingers, carried it off to Miss Den. 

Deprived of this hope, and compelled to the incessant 
use of her eyes and fingers in her monotonous employment, 
Mabel's mind gave way. 

One morning she tore her white dress in passing through 
a door, and proceeded to mend it with a darn of black 
sewing-silk. When her aunt looked at her in wonder, which 
upset her usual placid grimness, the unfortunate girl was 
momentarily conscious of her lapse from reason, and rushed 
to the upper window in her bed-room to throw herself out 
into the garden, hoping to end her misery in death. With 
wild eyes and frantic gestures she sprang on to the window 
seat, and placed her foot on the window-sill. The house- 
maid, who was busy in the room, threw her arms round her, 



Sabinct. 235 

,and, at the risk of being precipitated down with her to 
certain death or mutilation, she held on, and dragged her 
back to the bed, fastening her hands behind her tightly 
with a handkerchief. 

Left in silence and loneliness she slept, and awoke in 
wonder at the ligatures that bound her. 

Miss Den came up, and seeing the softened expression 
in Mabel's eyes; she removed the handkerchief, and left her 
at liberty. 

To the Society of Friends it was owing that those amelio- 
rations in the treatment of lunatics were first instituted, which 
are now universally adopted. Miss Den saw in Mabel's 
symptoms excuses for much in her conduct that had been 
so faulty ; but with that conviction game also the determin- 
ation to send her, with her parents' permission, to the asylum 
at York, where she might be restored to the perfect use of 
her mental powers. 

Miss Den held frequent conversation with her maid. 
When there are three in a house, two will always band 
themselves against the third, even when there is not the 
excuse of a cause so valid as in the case of Mabel Snow. 
Terror quickened Mabel's perceptions. She was half con- 
scious that she deserved coercion, but she believed that 
could she but attain to her lover she should be restored to 
mental health. She listened, and heard from Miss Den's 
communication to Jane, when they believed that she slept, 
that she was in a few days to be taken to the asylum _ at 
York, a week's journey from Wilfred. With dilated eyelids 
and hair falling over her naked shoulders, she had crept in 
her night clothes down the stairs and listened on tiptoe at 
the door of the sitting-room. They moved slightly, and 
Mabel regained her room, and when their steps were heard 
at her bed-room door she was in bed and breathing quietly 
in simulated sleep. But after that night she never rested 
for more than a few minutes at a time. Her aunt used to 
come and see her in bed and take away her candle. She 
contrived to secrete a piece, but she could not strike a light 
without making a noise which might alarm Miss Den. Some- 
times she got up and dressed herself in the dark. Her 
bonnet had been taken from her, but she could put on the 
rest of her clothes, and she would sit up till the tardy autumn 
li'dit warned her to undress and conceal her past watchfulness. 



236 Sab ina. 

She was sitting up thus one night, about two o'clock in 
the morning, after her light had been removed for several 
hours, when she heard a carriage stop at the door — might 
it not be at the next house ? No, it was for her — she was 
to be taken away quietly in the night — she knew it now, 
and could piece together the fragmentary speeches she had 
heard through the door. 

Jane was going through the front hall to let them in — the 
cruel doctor and the attendants who were to convey her 
away. She stole softly down stairs. They were busy with 
lights in the front hall, and could not see her enveloped in 
her brown shawl. She opened the door going into the 
garden, and ran to the window of the stable. A groom, who 
had been bedding up his horses, saw the apparition of 
Mabel's white face at the window. 

" Open, for the love of Heaven ! " cried the girl, and the 
groom opened the window of the harness-room and drew 
Mabel inside. 

" They are coming after me," she whispered, " do not say 
Avhere I am. I want to go to a friend — wilt thou tell me 
how to go ? Alas ! I have only that to give thee," offering 
a five-shilling piece. 

"Come this way, Miss," said the man, shutting clown the 
window, " 'spose them old Quakers are precious sharp on 
the young ones. I'll not peach ; come here," and he took 
her arm and led her to a stand of hackney coaches and 
assisted Mabel into one. 

" Now, Miss, where shall I say?" 

Mabel replied by giving the number of Wilfred's address 
in the Albany, and the coach drove off. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

" Fill the bowl with rosy wine, 
Round our temples roses twine ; 
Let us cheerfully awhile 
Like the wine and roses smile. 
Crown'd with roses we condemn 
Gyges' wealthy diadem. 

" To-day is ours ! What do we fear ? 
To-day is ours ! we have it here : 
Treat it kindly, that it may 
Wish at least with us to stay. 
Banish business, banish sorrow, 
To the gods belong to-morrow." 

Rochester. 

SHE HON. MR. TRESILLIAN was determined to 
enjoy himself, as we have before stated. His 
spirits rose as he felt the week had elapsed, and 
Mabel had made no claim on him. She was a 
sweet, innocent girl ; but he liked his freedom, and though 
he would not have acted in a cruel or ungentlemanlike 
manner towards one so timid and confiding, he was not 
sorry that she had not taken him at his word. 

On that night he entertained a party of more than usual 
brilliancy. His rooms at the Albany were furnished in the 
richest as well as the most gorgeous style of furniture. Gild- 
ing on every article of furniture was the questionable taste 
introduced by the Regent. Magnificent mirrors adorned 
the walls of his room, and reflected the cut-glass chandeliers 
quivering in their diamond drops, the elaborate beauty of 
which lias never been exceeded by modern inventions. 
Heavy crimson velvet curtains with bullion fringe and tas- 




238 Sabina. 

sels covered the windows, and the table was loaded with the 
choicest wines, the most luscious fruits, the most brilliant 
and fragrant of flowers. The party assembled was hetero- 
geneous. On one side of the host sat a' royal duke, on the 
opposite a beautiful singer, rather inclined to the autumn 
than the spring of life, with a magnificent bust and falling 
shoulders, so little concealed by drapery, that the spectator 
felt nervous as to the result of every movement. Luckily, 
she was tranquil and dignified, and unused to exertion, so 
she did not trespass on propriety to a greater degree than 
she had herself anticipated. 

Next to the royal duke sat a lovely little actress, Mrs. 

M , also dressed in the extreme of fashion, who had a 

few days before shocked the audience at Drury Lane by an 
accidental slip of her dress from her shoulder and breast. 
They had hissed her vehemently, and she had retired to the 
wing to re-adjust her clothes. Seemingly, she knew that 
such castigation would not exist at a private party, and she 
had acted on that conviction in the exhibition of her 
shoulders and bosom. 

Next to her was seated one whom scandal had mixed up 
with her name, to the detriment of his domestic peace, one 
of the noblest of three heads, all noble, all intellectual, all 
of the highest character of beauty, — Goethe, Canova, and 
Byron. This last had not dined with the party, as he was 
adhering to his capricious regimen of biscuits and weak 
claret and water, but he had joined the company when the 
cloth had been removed, to enjoy what might be a feast of 
reason, but would certainly be a flow of soul. Mr. Tre- 
sillian was a Whig, and consequently in the Opposition, 
and he had some of the noted of that party amongst his 
guests. 

Moore was there, with a bacchanalian twinkle in his blue 

eyes, and Sir F B , in the glory of his recent 

martyrdom, having been committed to the Tower for his 
defence of the rights and liberties of the people. 

He was singularly favoured by nature in a person on 
which gentleman seemed stamped from his birth, refined by 
education, and made irresistible to women by the charm 
of his manner, and the silvery tones of a finely modulated 
voice. These attractions he retained when youth had long 
been past. 



Saiina. 239 

Near him sat Bob , as he was familiarly called, a 

youth noted for fun and wildness, and for excess. 

Near the bottom of the table sat a gentleman from the 
City, a man noted for shrewd business habits, which had 
made him useful in righting the labouring and nearly foun- 
dering vessels of his Royal Highness's domestic economy ; 
and he was admitted to terms of intimacy, almost amount- 
ing to friendship, with more than one of the royal brothers. 
His indefatigable activity, decision, and humanity had 
lately rescued from death three unfortunate Irishmen, con- 
demned, for coining, on the evidence of an informer, for the 
sake of the blood-money. This circumstance had extorted 
the admiration of those even who envied him, whilst the 
young applauded the undaunted courage with which, during 
one of the Burdett riots, he had plunged into the crowd, and 
seized a ringleader of the mob, narrowly escaping death 
from the loaded pistol which another pointed at his head, 
but which the staff of a constable j erked up into the air. 

" The Syren," as the duke called Mrs. B , sang at his 

request her celebrated bravura from the "Duenna," "Adieu, 
thou Dreary Pile," which was followed by his Royal 
Highness's voice in his favourite song of 

" The glasses sparkle on the board, 
The wine is ruby bright j 
The reign of pleasure is restored, 

Of mirth and gay delight. 
The night is ours ! then crown with flowers 

The moments as they roll. 
If any pain or care remain, 

We'll drown it in the bowl." 

On the last line, repeated over and over again, he always 
pronounced drown as drownd ; probably he would have 
spelt it thus had he ever had occasion to do so. But if he 
reasoned at all on the subject, he probably thought he 
might plead the privilege of near relationship to murder his 
papa's English. 

When the applause, which had succeeded these jolly 
couplets, had died away into silence, the duke called on 
Mr. ■ ■ for a son g, an d the good-natured gentleman im- 
mediately complied, giving " The Wolf" with such magni- 
ficence of power, that Mrs. B applauded enthusiastically 



240 Sabina. 

a voice which, always after dinner, created an Orphic dance 
amongst the wine-glasses and finger-glasses. Lord Byron 
now begged Tom Moore to give his favourite "When 
first I saw thee Warm and Young." He sang with but little 
voice, but with such exquisite taste and feeling, that tears 
started in the eyes of more than one auditor amongst the 
revellers. Several actresses had joined the party in the 
dresses in which they had appeared on the boards ; but the 
most inveterate pleasure-seeker wearies sometimes, especially 
between two and three in the morning, and some were going 
to send for their carriages, when Tom Moore struck up 
"Fly not yet!" entreating the guests all to join in chorus, 
knowing that no music is so popular as that in which all can 
bear a part. 

This was agreed, and the first verse went off well ; but in 

the chorus Bob began a very drunken ditty of his own 

invention, — 

" Brandy I will not ; 
Royal gin for ever ; 
Gin so gallows hot, 

Gin has burnt my liver." 

Mr. Tresillian rose from his seat, and taking the youth by 
the arm led him, too drunk to resist, into his bed-room, and 
flung him on the sofa. 

The singing was waxing fast and furious, — 

"Thus should women's hearts and looks 
At noon be cold as winter brooks, 
Nor kindle till the night returning 
Brings their genial hour for burning." 

Lord Byron glanced at the beautiful actress, the royal duke 
at the Syren ; wine and love, if such riot deserve the name, 
possessed the party, and propriety shrunk away aghast, 
when the door opened, and Mabel was ushered in by the 
valet. "A Bold Stroke for a Wife," had been represented 
at Covent Garden that night with a young debutante in 
the character of Ann Lovely. Mr. Tresillian's valet, who 
was thoroughly acquainted with all the circumstances con- 
nected with both theatres, was aware of this fact, and when 
he saw Mabel Snow, and heard her inquiry for his master, 
he was by no means astonished or disturbed by the ap- 
pearance of the fair Quakeress, but felt assured that the 



Sabina. 24 1 

beautiful debutante had come to supper fresh from the 
theatre, and dressed in character. 

Accordingly he ushered her into the supper room, at the 
door of which, as he closed it behind her, the unhappy- 
Mabel stood, looking dazed and bewildered at the dazzling 
lights, the rich company, and the unwonted sounds of 
revelry. 

" Oh stay ! Oh stay ! " 

shouted the guests in chorus, — and Mabel's entrance was 
for a moment unperceived, whilst she looked from one 
gentleman's face to another, in the hope of recognising 
Tresillian — in vain. 

She began with hope, — she ended with perplexity. Her 
brain had recovered its natural state now that she felt that 
she had escaped from the terrors of her aunt. With her 
perfect sanity came the horror of what she considered sin as 
exhibited by this assemblage of men carousing, and women 
half-naked. Polly Best, with her soaked bonnet, muddy 
boots, and dripping shawl, was clothed to the chin. These 
women made her face crimson with shame for them who felt 
none for themselves. About Polly's profession she had had 
but a suspicion. Here was vice triumphant. Luckily, her 
Wilfred was not amongst them. She turned to leave the 
room, thinking the servant had mistaken what she said ; but 
her egress was prevented by a young nobleman in a state of 
semi-intoxication, who placed himself between her and the 
door, and who, staring impudently in her face, sang again 
the chorus, "Oh ! Stay ! Sweet Ann Lovely ! why turn from 
your devoted admirers ? " 

With the gentlemanlike manners of the old school, Sir 

F B 1 arose from his seat, and advancing towards .her 

with a reverential bow, said, "Sweet Quakeress ! take a seat 
at this table, where are assembled so many of the most ac- 
complished of your own profession. I feel convinced," said 

the kind gentleman, with a sweeping lqok at Mrs. B , 

Mrs. M , and the rest of the ladies, which implied his 

opinion of what they ought to feel, "that they will be delighted 
to admit you into their coterie, and make you feel at home." 
Mrs. B n looked doubtfully at the new arrival. 

" Does not sing, I suppose ? " was her thought. 

" Pray, Madame B ," said the duke in his squeaking 

16 



242 Sab ina. 

voice, " say something to the poor girl. She looks quite 
dashed. I feel a filial tenderness for the Society of Friends. 
Dad was sweet on one in his youth." 

Still the Syren was silent. She was as great a personage 
as queen of song, even though her supremacy was disputed 
by the Italian Catalani, as was the son of the King of Great 
Britain. 

" Kind friend ! " said poor Mabel, placing her small plump 

hand on the arm of Sir Francis B 1. " Thou seemest 

staid in age, and thy white hair deserves reverence ; though 
I find thee amongst these sons and daughters of Belial, I 
will believe that thou hast no community with them in thy 
heart. I come to seek a friend, whom I see not amongst 
you. Canst thou aid me to find him ? " 

" That girl is modest," said Lord Byron, in a low voice. 
" No perfection of acting could simulate that beautiful 
simplicity." 

Sir Francis B 1, however, being possessed by the notion 

that she was fresh from the impersonation of Ann Lovely, 
believed that the young lady only kept up the phraseology 
of the Society of Friends as a joke ; and the noble poet 
himself was somewhat startled from his opinion of her 

innocence, when in answer to a question by Sir Francis 

as to the name of the friend she wished to meet, she 
answered, " Wilfred Tresillian." 

" Lucky dog ! " said one. " Sly fellow ! Always first in 
the market when anything good is to be had ! Where is he ? 

Putting Bob to bed in the next room. Send her in, 

too ; no, no, call him out. Let us see the meeting of the 
lovers." These were the speeches that rang round the room, 
whilst one of the company held a bumper of port wine to 
the lips of the Quakeress. 

" ' Drink, pretty creature, drink ! ' 

as Wordsworth says to the lambkin. Truly, friend, thou art 
a lamb thyself, it seemeth to me." 

" Alas ! amongst wolves," cried Mabel, with a quivering 
lip, putting aside the wine. " Be careful, friend ; thou wilt 
spill it on my dress; and, wherefore, wiliest thou that I 
should be a sinner, even as thou art thyself in this matter? 
Knowest thou not that the wine-bibber is excluded from the 
kingdom of heaven with the rest of the ungodly?" 



Sabina. 



-4o 



" Hark to the fair preacher ! " cried one. " Doth the 
spirit move thee, friend ? " said another. 

'• Put an s to it, and ' do ' instead of doth," said Lord 
Byron, " and the motive power will be stated" of the whole 
assembly but myself, who only drink claret and water." 

Mabel kept her hand on the arm of Sir Francis, as if for 
protection from the riotous assembly. He was embarrassed 
by this silent claim on his interest, and remained standing 
by her side, when the door leading to the bed-room 
opened, and Mr. Tresillian, with an amount of astonishment 
and dismay, which it required all the practised self-command 
of a man of the world to conceal, became aware of the pre- 
sence of the girl who depended on him for love and duty, 
the first of which he no longer felt, — the second he was 
unwilling to fulfil. 

He was shocked, too, to see Mabel, whose purity he 
reverenced, surrounded by such a set of men and women. 
Shocked that she should recognise these as his chosen asso- 
ciates — never, he thought, was such a contretemp. Where 
could he put her ? Whither could she go ? Why did she 
come ? It was very provoking. This passed through his 
mind in an instant of time, as he walked towards her 
with every eye fixed on him in an amused expression of 
wonder. 

Mabel, seeing him advance with a flushed face of grave 
displeasure, felt that she was unwelcome. Too timid to ex- 
press the feelings with which her heart seemed bursting, 
before so large an assembly of mockers, she only put out her 
hand appealingly, and whispered, " Take me away." 

"Will your Royal Highness do me the honour of taking 
the place I have unworthily filled as host to this festive 
meeting? I must restore this young lady to some friends of 
whom she is in search," said Mr. Tresillian, " and place her 
in safe keeping," not knowing exactly what he was saying, 
and abashed, notwithstanding his experience, by the roar of 
laughter which accompanied his departure, with Mabel's arm 
drawn through his. 

" Devil damn him ! " said his grace, " he does not seem 
too happy with his Quakeress." 

" What a wonderful oath ! " murmured Lord Byron. 

'' By no means," said the duke. "Tis most according to 
our knowledge of the attributes of his Satantic majesty to 
iC — 2 



244 Sabina. 

suppose him to take that business on himself. The usual 
oath is blasphemy." 

" But who is this girl ? Miss Carew, the actress ? " 

" She acts well if it be," said his lordship. 

" She's painted," said Mrs. M d. 

" And padded," cried Mrs. B n, who was proud of 

her luxuriant bulk, which being more than half revealed to 
all spectators, vouched for its own truth. 

" No chance of Tresillian's coming back to-night," said 
the duke. " Cigars and brandy ! " and his Royal Highness 
prepared himself to spend the rest of the dark hours in such 
comfort, as his asthmatical complaint permitted, which made 
a recumbent posture disagreeable to him. 

"A coach ! " said Mr. Tresillian to his valet, as he drew 
Mabel outside the door, and wrapped her brown shawl over 
her. He placed her in it, after telling the man to drive 
about slowly till further orders, and jumped in after her. 
" Now, Mabel, what is it ? " he said, with the smallest shade 
of impatience in his tone. It must be confessed that her 
advent had been very inauspicious. 

Mabel felt it all, and wept silently. 

" I came to thee because I loved thee, and I had thought 
thy love for me was abundant, in good repute and evil re- 
pute. My friends, those of my own household, have cast me 
off on account of thee. I have no one to go to, if thou dost 
not protect me." 

" But why did you not claim my promise at the termina- 
tion of the week ? " inquired Mr. Tresillian, seeking some 
valid excuse for his irritation. 

" Because the letter which I wrote to thee was stopped by 
my aunt's servant, and I had no means of communicating 
with thee." 

Mabel, with the art so often found in those whose minds have 
lost their balance, said nothing of the intention held by her re- 
latives to confine her in the York Asylum; and thus Mr. Tresil- 
lian was unable to account for her flight to him at such an hour 
of the night, but imagined that Mabel had chosen that time as 
being the period of the soundest sleep of her jailors. 

" What was to be done with her ? " he asked himself over 
and over. Her helplessness pleaded for her. A girl more 
self-reliant might have piqued him to overcoming her scruples 
to become his mistress. 



Sabi7ia. 245 

"There is some pleasure in the pursuit of a deer or a 
fox," he thought, " but none in cutting the throat of a help- 
less sheep." 

"Where wilt thou bestow me?" said the girl/ in an agitated 
voice. " I fear they will pursue me, and take me from thee," 
and she placed both her arms round the arm which was 
nearest to her, and clung to it closely. 

"They shall not take thee," said Mr. Tresillian, uncon- 
sciously adopting the language of the Friends. " When 
dost thou think thy aunt will find out thou hast left her 
house ? " 

" Directly," said Mabel, with a shudder. " I heard them 
coming after me." 

" Mabel ! you must be my wife directly ; in no other way 
can I retain you." 

"At thy pleasure, dear Wilfred!" sighed Mabel, grate- 
fully; "but," with a little feminine perplexity, " I have no 
clothes." 

" We must think of that afterwards," said Wilfred, who 
was also greatly perplexed. 

Her having come unexpectedly, and shown herself to so 
many of his acquaintance, was most distracting. If she 
was to be his future wife, he must manage to set her right 
in their estimation. Yet he shrank from explaining the 
whole matter to his relations. Mabel Snow, though ' a 
sweet girl, was by no means one whom Lady Sarah would 
have selected for her daughter-in-law. Mr. Tresillian did 
not want a buttress to be built on the wrong side of the 
wall, by arguments against a marriage to which he was in 
his heart disinclined. No, they must reconcile themselves 
to it when it was done, and could not be undone. Mr. 
Tresillian knew a respectable woman who let lodgings. He 
drove to her house in Piccadilly, and ringing her up, he 
explained that he had carried off a young lady whom he 
wished to marry, and entreated Mrs. Smith to conceal 
Mabel, and to provide her with a sufficient wardrobe. He 
placed Mabel in her hands with strong injunctions to 
secrecy, and promised to return on the following morning. 
Mabel slept, worn out by all she had apprehended, all she 
had suffered, satisfied now that her lover was responsible for 
her safety. 



CHAPTER XXIX. 




" This blessing lasts, if those who try say true, 
As long as heart can wish — and longer too." — Pope. 

UN the following day Mr. Tresillian returned, and 
had a conversation with Mrs. Smith, whom by 
payment of a handsome sum, he prevailed on to 
accompany Mabel to Gretna Green. He did not 
choose to take a false oath, and in no other way, except by 
the publication of bans, could he marry a girl under age 
without the consent of her parents. 

He knew that his chambers at the Albany would first be 
sought for news of her, and had taken care that safe answers 
should be returned to any questioners. He resolved that 
no reflection should ever be cast on his future wife which 
he could obviate by any carefulness in his own conduct, 
and starting at once on the long journey to Scotland, he 
never saw Mabel alone till he was united to her, and could 
honestly claim her as his wife. 

When the ceremony was over they returned to town, Mr. 
Tresillian leaving his wife in the care of Mrs. Smith till he 
could obtain a suitable residence for her. 

He advised her to address a letter begging forgiveness to 
her parents, and acquainting them with her marriage. This 
she did, appealing to her father, feeling him to be the ten- 
derest parent of the two ; but it was unanswered. The re- 
sponse which AValter Snow would gladly have made was 
negatived by his wife. 

Mabel was not inconsolable. In the first deep happiness 
of her wifehood, she felt incapable of being stricken excepting 



Sabina. 247 

through him. He was tender and fond of her — more 
tender, more considerate, than he had been to others more 
beloved ; and in the first few weeks of matrimony Mabel, at 
least, was perfectly happy, and Wilfred was content. He 
had not yet avowed his marriage to his family. Mabel 
rather dreaded that any voice less beloved than Wilfred's 
should break on her enchanted dream, and did not express 
any anxiety on the subject. He took a small villa on the banks 
of the Thames, in which he enshrined his new saint, and in 
her small wifely care and new-born importance in having a 
home of her own, Mabel was perfectly happy. 

But perfect happiness, or even that which is imperfect, 
was not to exist long for Mabel. The first interruption to 
it arose from Mr. Tresillian's suggestion that she should 
alter her costume and dress like other people. Whilst she 
lived in perfect seclusion he had not interfered ; but what 
boy or man with a new toy is satisfied by its possession if it 
be not exhibited to extort the admiration and the envy of 
others ? 

Mabel had im esprit borne. She had been taught that her 
dress was part of her faith, and she could not bear to give 
it up. 

" But why dost thou wish it, my Wilfred ? " 
" Because some men are coming to dine with me, and I 
do not like them to see you in a dress so peculiar." 
" Men coming ! Are they friends ? " 
" Yes," said Mr. Tresillian, " friends of mine." 
"I cannot alter my dress, Wilfred," said Mabel, who had 
rejoiced her heart and soothed her conscience for the crime 
of choosing a husband for herself, by obtaining a fresh set 
of drab and French gray dresses. " If I appear to thy 
friends, they must take me as I am, in the garb of my sect." 
Mr. Tresillian was provoked at her determination, and 
resolved to have his own way. He sent a dressmaker from 
the establishment of Messrs. Hogard and Amber to fit a 
dress on Mabel, which might be quietly yet fashionably 
made. The period was that when Lady Charlotte Campbell 
had contrived to undress all her countrywomen, and to 
make them all indecent, and three-fourths of them absurd, 
by a fashion intended to set off her own perfect figure, by 
an imitation of a Greek statue. Now, a Greek statue 
partly draped is very beautiful if its proportions are as 



248 Sabina. 

correct; but put a Greek statue into a paper or a thick 
muslin bag, and it becomes ungraceful at once. To go 
about in fleshings, with soft muslin draperies, was even be- 
yond Lady Charlotte Campbell, and the dress which was 
only tolerable on her became very revolting on such of the 
matrons of England whose forms were too ample in 
rotundity. Mabel, who had hitherto worn a full amount of 
flannel and calico in her petticoats, was told by the dress- 
maker that such were inadmissible, and must not be worn 
with the dinner-dress intended for her. 

Mabel remonstrated once more with her husband ; but 
he answered shortly that the first duty of a wife was obedi- 
ence, and that he expected, if she took no pleasure in 
pleasing him. 

He was evidently very angry, and Mabel was greatly 
distressed. Sometimes she was determined to do that 
which she considered a matter of vital importance — a 
point of morals — and appear in her usual costume ; but 
she dreaded her husband's gloomy countenance, and re- 
mained in a pitiable state of indecision. The dinner-hour 
was at six, and Mr. Tresillian had taken care that it should 
be liberally provided and well appointed. At half-past 
four the dressmaker arrived with the dress, and, by an un- 
derstanding with the master of the house, she remained, 
under pretence of trying it on to judge of the fit, to dress 
Mabel herself, as she had no reliance on the little Calvinist, 
whom Mabel, unable to obtain a Quaker servant, had se- 
lected as her attendant. 

Mr. Tresillian had a good reason for his determination. 
He did not desire that Mabel should recall to his guests 
any report they might have heard of her coming to his 
chambers at the Albany in her Quaker costume. He 
meant to introduce her as Mrs. Tresillian — whether his law- 
ful wife or not they would be too well-bred to inquire ; 
and Lady Sarah or Lord Trelusa, if they heard of such a 
person, would feel no uneasiness at an occurrence so com- 
mon with young men of that day. The circumstance of 
their not beingxalled on to notice her would have satisfied 
them that the connexion was a temporary one. This would 
leave him free for the present to act as he liked. 

Another effort, which resulted in constant discomfort on 
both sides, had been made by Mr. Tresillian to alter Mabel's 



Sabina. 249 

use of the second personal pronoun — " Shall I give thee 
some cream ? '•' 

" You" interjected her husband. 

" Is thy tea sufficiently strong ? " 

" Your tea ! Yes, it is." 

" AVilt thou walk with me after breakfast ? " 

" Not unless you ask me properly. Will you walk with 
me ? " 

Mabel coloured. 

" On what day did you write to your father, Mabel ? " 

" On fifth day, third week, tenth month," was the reply. 

" Pshaw ! Could you not say Thursday ? " 

" Why should I call a portion of time, which is God's, by 
the name given in honour of a heathen deity? " 

" Oh, Mabel, Mabel ! you drive me distracted," said Mr. 
Tresillian pettishly. 

On the evening in question the little Calvinist servant 
announced to Mabel that a young man was coming up stairs 
to her bed-room, saying that a gentleman had sent him. 

Whilst Mabel was lost in astonishment, and had a vague 
terror lest Luke, her brother, should have come to seek her, 
the young man entered with a bow and a smirk, and stated 
that he was come to dress her ladyship's hair. He was 
followed by the maid bearing a parcel from the jeweller's 
addressed to Mabel. She was seated when the hairdresser 
arrived, and a cloth was thrown over her shoulders before 
she was aware, and her beautiful hair, which had been 
smoothly banded over her brow and carried to the back of 
her head, was cut sufficiently to be curled by the iron into 
short circles. The braid was left in its undisturbed beauty 
at the back of her head. 

" The very thing," exclaimed the hairdresser, as Mabel 
opened the jewel-case and showed a fine tiara of choice 
pearls. Mr. Tresillian had chosen them as being most likely 
to accord with the pure style of Mabel's charms. 

Her hair was dressed before she saw herself reflected in 
the glass, with the coronet of pearls on her head. No move- 
ment of gratified vanity flushed her pale cheek. She thought 
herself like one of the idolatrous women denounced by the 
prophet as wearing "their hoods and their wimples and their 
round tires like the moon." 

The hairdresser departed delighted with his work, and the 



250 Sabina. 

mantua-maker now began her task, and denuded Mabel of 
nearly all her clothes, and re-dressed her in the garments she 
had brought. Naked arms, uncovered throat and bosom, 
made Mabel think with disgust of the women she had seen 
at the rooms in the Albany. The clothes were so tightly- 
fitting that Mabel felt as if she should tear them if she moved. 
Whilst she looked at herself in the glass, her husband en- 
tered and almost started at the alteration in her appearance. 
Certainly, none of the company at the Albany could have 
recognised in this brilliant, elegant-looking lady, the timid 
and terrified Quaker girl. He came forward with a string of 
pearls to match the tiara, and fastened them round her fair 
round throat. 

Mabel looked at him sadly. 

" Canst thou really wish me to show myself to thy friends 
in this undress ? " 

" You are dressed like any lady of your own rank." 

" I do implore thee not to put me to this shame." 

" Nonsense, Mabel ! I expect you to come down to 
receive my guests as you are dressed now, and remember — 
no theeing and thouing" 

Mabel said no more ; but she was strong in her sense of 
what was right. When the succession of knocking and ring- 
ing announced the arrival of the company, Mabel enveloped 
herself from her throat to her feet in her old brown shawl, 
which had covered her and been rain-drenched in so man}' 
assignations with her lover in the garden. " Surely, its re- 
membrance will plead for me," she thought. " He cannot 
be angry when he sees it, and thinks of those evenings." 

Women have much longer memories than men, who are 
never touched by sentiment when they consider that they 
have cause to be angry. 

When Mabel walked into the room with an ill-assured 
step, and the shabby shawl pinned closely over her figure, 
her husband was exceedingly angry. It is true that her fair 
head, with its pearl coronet, shone out right royally from the 
dark-brown drapery. Her face, usually too pale in its ex- 
cessive fairness, flushed on the delicately-rounded cheeks, 
and gave to her pure beauty the only quality it had lacked — 
that of colour. 

Mr. Tresillian waited till they were all seated in the dining- 
room, and then said, pointedly, " Now, Mabel, you are safe 



Sabi/ia. 251 

from the draughts on the staircase, you can throw off your 
shawl." 

The look which accompanied the observation admitted of 
no denial, and Mabel undid the pin, and shone resplendent 
in a satin dress, resembling that which Sir Thomas Lawrence 
has immortalised in a beautiful portrait of a lady leaning 
over a book with her hand shielding her eyes, fitting tightly 
over the bosom, of which the shape was made more evident 
from the sheen of the material. 

Of Mabel's beauty there was but one opinion, nor of her 
want of conversational powers. She was depressed by the 
conviction that she was committing a sin in wearing such a 
dress,— by the knowledge that she dared not use the phrase- 
ology of her sect without offending her husband, — most of 
all by the dread that he, whom she doated on with a fondness 
amounting to idolatry, was drawing on himself Divine wrath 
by the life he was leading, and by his occasioning his weaker 
sister to err. 

Mr. Tresillian, seeing her perplexity, exerted all his 
powers of conversation to amuse his guests. The give and 
take of playful wit, — 

" The lively pleasure to divine 
The thought implied, the hinted line," 

was as much lost on Mabel as if the conversation had been 
carried on in a language with which she had been unac- 
quainted. 

Allusions were made to celebrated authors of whose names 
she had never heard ; meanings were caught from sentences 
half expressed, and ready laughter was the tribute paid by 
the guests to sallies of wit, which they were pleased to ap- 
plaud because the quick understanding of the jest proved 
their own talents in divining them. 

The subjects on which Joseph Sturm and Friend Snow 
would have plodded over for hours, and scarcely have under- 
stood after much painful study, were tossed up and caught 
and discussed and thrown aside with the rapidity of light- 
ning. As the dinner proceeded, the conversation became 
more rapid. Mabel sat sad and silent. When the dessert 
was placed on the table, Mr. Tresillian said kindly : 

" Mabel, my love, you seem weary. You may leave us 
now, and we will come to you for some coffee presently." 



252 Sabina. 

Mabel obeyed ; but kind as was the tone, she felt she was 
dismissed as a naughty child, who had misbehaved herself. 

A few nights afterwards Mr. Tresillian insisted on taking 
Mabel to the opera, when was performed Don Giovanni. 
Seated quietly in the box, the young husband hoped to 
show off his beautiful wife without any distress to her, or 
exhibition of her gaucherie. But he had not calculated 
on the result. Sensuous in her nature, the music to which 
she was unaccustomed produced a vivid effect on her 
mind. 

Her features became convulsed with horror when the 
corpse of the Commandant was revealed, with Donna Anna 
shrieking out her imprecations on the murderer. Her detes- 
tation of the hero was intense. In some unaccountable 
manner she connected the slaughtered man with her own 
father, and a gush of tenderness towards him and the- home 
she had left filled her eyes with tears. She put aside im- 
patiently the outstretched hand with which Mr. Tresillian 
sought to take and caress hers ; and, irritated and offended, 
he got up and left her to speak to some friends in another 
part of the house. Mabel, for once, was indifferent to his 
departure. Her mind, highly strung, was entirely absorbed 
by the representation she was witnessing. When, at the 
conclusion, Don Juan received the visible punishment of his 
cruelty and lust, Mabel shuddered at the fate which she be- 
lieved would also be that of her husband. 

Mr. Tresillian took her home that evening convulsed by 
hysterical bursts of tears, of which she gave no explanation. 

Her love for Wilfred now seemed changed to a vague 
terror ; she believed him to be doomed, like the hero of the 
opera, to eternal reprobation, unless he gave up all his pur- 
suits and companions, and joined the Society of Friends. 
Her maid was a Calvinist, and held the same gloomy views, 
and by her intercourse with her mistress deepened all her 
terrors. 

" Oh ! that I were as in time past, when God was with 
me ! " moaned the unfortunate young Quakeress ; and her 
thoughts wandered back to her home at Trevedra, her sinless 
hours, her dear innocent sisters, their constant occupations 
of working or gardening. Her name, doubtless, was never 
mentioned in that sweet domicile ; she was as one dead — 
forgotten as though she had never been. 



Sabina. 253 

" My father ! he thinks of me sometimes. ' I will arise 
and go to my father.' " 

Thus she spent her weary hours in vain yearnings for 
home. She had loved her lover, and sacrificed her family 
for him ; she had bitten the apples on the Dead Sea shore, 
and found the result but ashes and dust. She had not found 
the happiness she had anticipated, for Mr. Tresillian had not 
united himself to the Society of Friends. Had he ever loved 
her, she argued, he would have done so. Did not her father 
yield to the persuasions of her mother ? 

It was true that he might use the same argument. " Why 
did not she adopt his way of life ? " To this she replied to 
her own thoughts, that hers was the right path, and his the 
wrong. His was the broad way leading to destruction, hers 
the narrow and thorny path leading to eternal life. 

She wrote again to Walter Snow to beg for a few lines, 
granting her pardon, if not reconciliation ; but no reply was 
granted. She spoke rarely to her husband, and seemed to 
be filled with a deep resentment at his efforts to unite her in 
his own pursuits and pleasures. 

Tired with the dulness of his home, and at its perpetual 
gloom, uncheered even by the light of love — for Mabel, with 
the blind obstinacy of her character, believed that he would 
give to her displeasure what he had refused to her affection 
— Mr. Tresillian returned to all the wild company from 
which Mabel had for a while detached him, and plunged 
more madly into the vortex of dissipation from his previous 
abstinence. 

Matters had been thus for some weeks, when electioneer- 
ing duties took Mr. Tresillian to Cornwall. To Mabel the 
absence was scarcely a pain. She anticipated, so soon as he 
should have departed, that she might pursue her own course, 
attend the Friends' meeting on first day, and re-adopt the 
Quaker costume, which he had insisted on her laying aside 
in his presence. To her mind, warped and stiffened by 
religious prejudices, it seemed to her that her return to these 
duties was a return to the path of rectitude. 

Mr. Tresillian, unruffled by any of the vagaries of a pas- 
sion which he had never felt for her, was sweet-tempered 
and affectionate in his efforts to make her happy in his ab- 
sence. 

" You will write to me, Mabel ?" he suggested tenderly. 



254 



Sabina. 



" Truly, yes, if such be thy desire, Wilfred." 

" If you should be ill, or require anything, you will let me 
know." 

" I have all of the world's wealth that I can desire," said 
his wife, with a sigh. 

And Mr. Tresillian kissed her, and departed with a sigh 
also, — but it was one of relief. 

Whilst he was 1 at Tregear he saw Sabina, and the circum- 
stances occurred which we have related in the preceding 
chapters. 



CHAPTER XXX. 



"Meantime, in sheets of rain the sky descends, 
And ocean, swelled with waters, upward tends ; 
No star appears to lend his friendly light, 
Darkness and tempest make a double night." — Dryden. 



66 




CANNOT marry this one," said Mr. Tresillian, 
"because I have married the other. What a 
fool I was to be so honourable and chivalrous ; 
it has not answered. I am like the French 
actress, who was induced by a friend to attend mass for the 
first time in her life, and found on her return she had been 
robbed of all her jewels and plate. She said it was the 
judgment of Heaven to punish her for having gone out of 
her ordinary course of life. I have not lost jewels, but I 
have gained a clog for life, all because for once I was high- 
minded and virtuous. If virtue is its own reward, I wonder 
at how long a date the payment is made. This is a sweet 
child ! How sprightly, how intelligent ! I might have 
made a fool of myself in marrying her, had I been free ; but 
I am not. Heigho ! what matters so long as I amuse my- 
self. She will not die of the disappointment, I dare say. 
Young as she is, she is quite sharp enough to take care of 
herself. Very unlike Mabel." 

Perhaps it was lucky for Sabina, notwithstanding her in- 
stinct of" self-preservation, that Mr. Tresillian found it 
necessary to return to London for a week or two ; and as 
Lady Sarah said she could not support Tregear without her 
son's presence, she proposed to spend the period of his 
absence with some friends in Devonshire. 

" You will promise to come and stay with me on my re- 
turn, Sabina. And about the veil ? " 



256 Sabina. 

" If your ladyship will permit, I will take it home with 
me, and I trust I may be able to finish it before your re- 
turn." 

"Good-bye, Mr. Tresillian," said the girl, holding out 
her hand frankly as she spoke, " I shall be off before you 
are awake to-morrow morning." 

"Good-night," said the gentleman, pressing the small 
fingers placed within his. 

He took care it should not be " good-bye," for he charged 
his groom not to bring round the dog-cart till an hour after 
the time at which Sabina required it. 

This lively young girl was not easily put out of any in- 
tended plan by slight obstacles. After she had listened in 
vain for ten minutes in the hope of hearing the carriage- 
wheels, she went down into the drawing-room, and dropped 
from the window on the turf, and hastened away through 
the plantations past the Retreat, now silent and untenanted, 
opened the small oak gate, and hastening over the road, 
arrived at her uncle's dwelling in time to make his toast, 
and before Mr. Tresillian had bedewed himself with liquid 
odours at the completion of the toilette in which he meant 
to subdue all hitherto left unsubdued in the domain of 
Sabina's heart. 

" Confound her ! she's gone. I don't believe the little 
witch cares a straw for me ! " was the result of his cogitation. 

" I'm glad you're come back, Miss," said Susan. "Mr. 
Rock don't seem over well, and he's dull of the evening, 
Mr. Orellan being gone, you see." 

"When did he go? I did not know it." 

" No, master wouldn't have you told for fear you'd want 
to come home with him, and leave the great folks where you 
was so happy." 

Sabina hastened to the sitting-room, and cheered the old 
man with her voice and smile, telling him all the little trifles 
of the life she had been spending, so amusing to her uncle 
as connected with herself. 

She was to return to Tregear, it seemed, on the ter- 
mination of Lady Sarah's visit to Devonshire, and this 
was a cause of joy to Mr. Rock, as it proved she was 
valued. 

" Mr. Tresillian is very prompt in his kindness, Sabina,'' 
said the old man. " Mr. Orellan has got his appointment — 



Sab in a. 257 

a friend at court, you see. I wonder how long merit would 
have pleaded in vain, unbacked by favour ? " 

"Very nice of him," said Sabina, cutting a slice of the 
semi-brown bread, which, without butter, served for her 
breakfast at home. How different from that at Tregear, 
which she left untasted from love of her uncle ! 

" Where is his command ? " she continued. 

" Near Saint Eve ; and do you know, my dear, it is a 
long time since I smelt the sea, and I think a little change 
would set me up again for a bit. Suppose you and I were 
to get Orellan to take a lodging for us just for a week or so 
at Saint Eve. I should like to see how he gets on. He 
has only a small place — can't take us in." 

" That is a blessing ! " thought Sabina ; but she only ex- 
pressed the acquiescence which her uncle expected, to whom 
the certainty of the coming prize-money gave the wish of a 
sight of his beloved ocean again. 

True, November was late in the season for pleasure- 
seekers, but neither the uncle nor the niece cared for appear- 
ance. " In darkness and in stonns they took delight," and 
they were likely to have enough of both to content them ; 
for the days of November are short and dreary, the nights 
long and tempestuous, and Saint Eve was beaten by the 
whole force of the angry ocean, broken by black rocks on 
the east, and sandbanks on the west, over which impediments 
the waves eddied and foamed. 

Mr. Orellan speedily engaged them a lodging near the 
sea, and at the end of the following week the uncle and 
niece were settled in their temporary home. 

On Saturday the small housekeeper got in her stores to 
provide for her uncle's comfort on Sunday, getting herself 
very wet in her shopping, for the weather had set in blowing 
and raining. On Sunday it held up for a little time, and 
they attended Divine service at the venerable old church. 
As they were returning home, Sabina stopped for an instant 
to listen to the singing of a dissenting congregation, of which 
the beauty struck her as they passed under the windows. 

" There will be service there this evening, probably," said 
her uncle. "Those fellows know how to make religion 
attractive. We will go to-night, if you like." 

"If you don't think you will catch cold, uncle." And 
thus it was agreed. 
17 



258 Sabina. 

" The tide is out a long way, is it not ? " said the girl, 

Her uncle took out his pocket-book, — 

"Yes, spring tide." 

In the evening they proceeded to the chapel. The ap- 
pearance of the venerable man and his beautiful companion 
attracted the attention of many, whose eyes gleamed round 
to catch a look at the new comers, though their heads were 
bent over their books. 

The service began with a hymn, in which Sabina joined 
her rich and powerful voice, and many of the elders of the 
congregation hoped she might attend permanently. 

After the singing came an extemporary prayer in which 
Sabina could not join, and doubted whether the congregation 
could, not knowing what was coining next, nor being able 
to guess the conclusion of the sentences, though their 
attention was awakened by a feeling of curiosity at the 
opening of them. 

After the prayer the minister preached for three-quarters 
of an hour on " Justification by Faith." He was a sleek, 
dapper-looking little man, and delivered his doctrines re- 
spectably ; but there were evident signs of weariness, and 
many noddings of heads that did not denote attention. 

The concluding hymn was about to be given out, when a 
young man stepped forward towards the pulpit, and in- 
timated a desire to address the meeting. He was tall, and 
rather bent in the shoulders, with wild blue eyes, and a 
magnificent outline of face. His likeness we once saw — an 
accidental one — in a print, once much a favourite with the 
religious public, named " The Resurrection of a Pious 
Family," where the youthful father's rapt face and ex- 
tended hands are raised towards the heavenly habitation to 
which he is ascending. 

His hair, flowing in dark curls, was dishevelled, and his 
dress, though clean, was wanting in the strict attention to 
order and neatness, which characterised the Methodists 
generally. 

The congregation hastily and willingly reseated them- 
selves, their eyes fixed on the young man, who seemed well 
known to them, and who immediately proceeded to address 
them thus : — 

" ' What meanest thou, oh sleeper ? Arise and call upon 
thy God ! ' This was the address of the captain of the vessel 



Sabi/ia. 259 

to one who slumbered and slept, whilst the labouring bark 
threatened to founder in the deep waters. This indifference to 
the ruin which menaced him was a subject of wonder to his 
companions ; for each man is more occupied by the con- 
templation of his neighbours' sins, than conscious of his own. 
God was wroth with the sinner ; his terrible doom was im- 
minent. You will say, ' What an insensate was this man ! ' 
The winds lifted up their voices ; the great deeps responded 
to their summons ; but he heard not the warring of the ele- 
ments. He was sunk in brutish lethargy. Look at home. 
What is this that you do ? ' Arise ye sleepers ! arise and 
call upon your God ! ' Perhaps the slumberer was filled 
with the flesh of oxen, and drunk with the fruit of the vine- 
yard. Perchance his sleeping thoughts yet lingered over the 
partaken feast. It might have been that his limbs were 
swathed in purple and fine linen, of which the gorgeous 
colour, and the delicate texture, had pleased his eyes, and 
rejoiced his sense of touch, and inflated his self-importance 
as he sank to rest. Look to yourself ! You come to the 
tabernacle of God heavy with food. You have sat down to 
eat and to drink, and you arise and come here to sleep ; 
and this you call doing God good service. You come self- 
satisfied with your stainless linen, your superfine cloth, your 
irreproachable neatness of attire, and you think that you 
will be saved for your well doing. Might not half your 
feast, rich in its superfluity, have been given to the poor? 
Your outward appearance is fair, are your hearts as pure ? 
You believe that you do not slumber in the face of a great 
danger. Task your memory to go over the past week. 
What thousands of small sins, evil thoughts, malicious words, 
petty oaths, commodious lies, little deceptions, you have 
committed ! They are forgotten whilst you sleep. The guilt 
of small reiterated sins is as great or greater than the com- 
mittal of a great one. A man may strike his enemy in his 
anger, and take away his life ; but to hate your neighbour in 
your heart without cause, to take every opportunity of 
whispering scandal against his character, or of defeating his 
designs for his own aggrandisement, makes you as guilty in 
the Divine sight as if you had imbrued your hand in his 
blood. The frequency of these sins makes the guilt great : 
the danger extreme. The constant operation of evil deeds 
impairs the strength of the soul, and shakes the foundations 
17 — 2 



260 Sab hi a. 

on which virtue rests — wave succeeding wave undermines 
the whole fabric of virtue, and makes the building of God 
to fall." 

Whilst the preacher had proceeded, the storm had in- 
creased with fearful violence, and the waves seemed by their 
sound almost to wash the walls of the building. 

" Hark ! to the winds," he cried, " careering round the 
skies ! Listen to the angry waters that are rushing up the 
sands to wash away, if He might permit, the work of men's 
hands — the habitation they have made for his worship. 
Think what it would be for any of you to be quivering with 
terror, clinging to one single plank — perchance in yonder 
gloomy and terrible ocean — far from light, or help, or hope. 
Yet, were the poor castaway to sink in the sullen waters, 
the agony, though terrible, might be transitory ; but 'tis a 
fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, who 
may make your punishment not momentary but eternal." 

He paused to let the thunder of the checkless winds pass 
by in their course, and then, with a rapt exaltation in his 
eyes, he repeated the verses, — 

"'The mountains saw thee and trembled. The over 
flowing of the waters passed by. The deep uttered his voice, 
and lifted up his hands on high.' 'The sun and the moon 
stood still in their habitation. At the light of thine arrows 
they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.' ' Thou 
hast cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas ; the 
floods compass me about ; all thy billows and thy waves 
pass over me.' ' When my soul fainted within me, I re- 
membered the Lord ; and my prayer came in unto thee : 
even unto thy holy temple.' " 

He concluded with giving out the words of the following 
hymn, which rose on the air more impressively from the 
silence within the chapel, and the turmoil of the elements 
without. 

" God ! our help in time of need, 

Terrible in majesty, 
Whilst with earnest prayers we plead, 

Hear our supplicating cry. 

' Christ ' who stilled the angry wave, 

Bade its turbulence be still, 
Stretch Thy hand the lost to save, 

Let the tempest own Thy will. 



Sabina. 261 

" Holy Spirit ! teach the heart 
To submit in life or death ; 
So, whene'er from life we part, 
Calm may be our latest breath." 

The preacher then concluded with a short prayer for any 
who might be exposed to the fury of the ocean on this awful 
night, and dismissed the congregation. 

They hastened to the doors of the tabernacle, but were at 
first driven back by the fury of the wind and rain, which 
were so violent, that not anticipating the force with which 
they were met, they staggered and clung to each other, and 
to the doorposts. Some were provided with lanterns 'and 
umbrellas ; but the last were useless, excepting as walking- 
sticks — the wind shattered the few put up to ribbons. 

Whilst they had been engaged inside the chapel, others 
had been more actively occupied outside. Boys and women 
rushed about with frantic cries, and the cliff was covered by 
eager men, whose faces were lighted by the torches they 
carried in their hands outstretched over the giddy height at 
arms' length. A vessel had struck on a rock, which was 
visible only from the white circle of foam that eddied around 
it ; and when the moon shone out between the dark masses 
of clouds, it had been seen that many of the crew were 
clinging to the wreck, from which, in a short time, they must 
be washed away if help came not. 

Mr. Rock and Sabina had allowed the congregation to 
pass out before them, wishing to avoid the rush of the 
crowd ; and thus it was that the preacher who had last 
addressed the congregation, came up to them as they were 
about to leave the chapel. 

" A naughty night to swim in," said the old man, who had 
expended his pocket money as a youth, to purchase a small 
copy of Shakspeare. " What is it all about ? " he continued. 

" Ah ! a ship ashore ! Where ? " he said to a man who 
was rushing past. 

" On the Chough's Head, master." 

" Where is that ? " 

" To the east of the bay. You'll see it belike if the moon 
comes out again. I'll show your honour to a recess in the 
cliff where you can see, and not be blown off by the wind." 

Before, however, the group had proceeded many steps, 
the moonlight illuminated the scene of the disaster. There 



262 Sabina. 

was the dark displaced hull of die vessel, with the white 
waves dashing and sparkling over her. There was the 
broken mast, and several human beings clinging to it. 

" Not above half there was when we saw it last," said the 
man. 

" Hark ! uncle ! " said Sabina, as the wind swept by. 
" Do you not hear the cries of the poor creatures ? Oh ! 
uncle ! can nothing be done ? " 

" Can nothing be done ? " said the old man, repeating 
her words. 

"A life-boat might save them ! but even a life-boat would 
scarcely go out on such a night." 

" Man ! Man ! " said the preacher, Mr. Ferrers. " Is 
there no way ? " 

" There's my boat," said the man. " There's no life-boat 
now : there was one, but 'tis broken up. I should not like 
to venture my boat, to say nothing of my life ; and if I did, 
who would go with me ? You see there's pebbles and sand, 
and the pebbles is large some on 'em ; and the waves fall 
with such violence, and curl round a boat with the back 
wash, so that nothing has a chance agin 'em ; and let one 
get away from the breakers near shore, there's the chance 
of dashing agin the rock where the vessel struck." 

" I would pay you for your boat — you know me, I am Mr. 
Ferrers — but I cannot pay you for your life ; that could not 
be more nobly bestowed than in trying to save your brethren 
exposed to such fearful peril. Where should I find two 
more if I were to go ? " 

" Have you a wife, friend ? or any dependent on you ? " 
said Mr. Rock, gravely. 

" No : I am a single man." 

" I can take an oar," said Mr. Ferrers. 

"And I can steer," said the old lieutenant. 

" Oh, uncle, uncle ! do not go; why, 'twill kill you. Ah ! 
Sir," she cried, seizing the arm of the preacher, " he is old 
and feeble ; do not let him." 

" If he be old he will have less of life to sacrifice. If he 
be feeble, God," said the enthusiast, " will put strength in 
his arms and warmth in his heart to fulfil this work of mercy. 
If he were on that mast, young woman, what would you 
think of her who interfered with an effort made to save him ? 
Come James Brooks, show us your boat." 



Sabina. 263 

Sabina rushed to her uncle and flung her arms round his 
neck. She tore off her shawl and tied it round his throat. 
" I can get shelter, uncle, and you cannot. Oh, rny uncle, 
forgive me for all my naughtiness, and bless me before you 
go." 

" Fie, child ; don't make me an old fool. There is no 
danger — nothing to speak of. Pshaw ! you're not fit for a 
sailor's niece. Go back to the house, child, and go to sleep. 
I shall bring strangers back, perhaps, for food and clothing 
in the morning. Get plenty of hot water and roaring fires. 
Le: me see you go before I go down the steps to the water's 
edge." 

" Young woman," said Mr. Ferrers, impressively, " neglect 
not thy prayers for those who need them, and are in great 
extremity ; pray for those at sea." 

" Go back, Sabina," were the last words she heard her 
uncle utter. She seemed to obey him, but she only with- 
drew out of sight. She could not consent to be sheltered 
whilst they were exposed to the blast. 

" Poor girl ! " said Mr. Rock, with relenting tenderness, 
which made what he considered to be his duty very painful, 
— " she has not a protector in the world — not a relative, 
not a friend, on whom she can rely if I am taken from 
her." 

His extremity made him confide this feeling to his com- 
panion as they descended the steps under the immediate 
shelter of the pier. 

" I declare to you, old man," said Mr. Ferrers, seizing his 
arm, " if you should be taken and I should be left, the care 
and aid which a tender brother should expend on a dear 
sister shall be hers, if you die in thus doing God's bidding." 

" Thank you," saidj Mr. Rock, gruffly. " I believe you 
mean well." 

" Great God ! to whom darkness is as noonday," cried 
the young man, "we commit ourselves to Thy keeping, 
and appeal to Thy aid to lead our enterprise to a good 
result." 

" The gentleman speaks very fine words about the Lord, 
said the tar ; " 'tis best to keep them in one's head such a 
night as this. No one can say I vallid my own life when 
there was danger afloat. Steady, gentlemen, steady," he 
cried, as Mr. Ferrers leapt too recklessly into the boat and 



264 Sabina. 

nearly overset it in the tumbling waters. Mr. Rock stepped 
in with more judgment. It was not difficult to row the boat 
whilst under the shelter of the pier ; but each of the men 
knew what perils would await them when they got into the 
line of angry breakers. 

Sabina crouched down shivering, and clung to the railing 
on one side of the pier. Her uncle had desired her to return 
home. She would by-and-by, when she could no longer 
hear the splash of the oar coming occasionally on the rushing 
wind, nor hope to distinguish the boat should the moon give 
her light once more. She was alone, for the crowd, not 
anticipating that any boat would go out on such a hopeless 
errand, had congregated on the top of the cliff with lights, as 
if to give some assurance of neighbourhood and sympathy 
to the poor wretches who seemed beyond the reach of 
effectual aid. She sat leaning her head against the boarding 
of the pier, and watching involuntarily the line of white 
foam which followed the thunder of the advancing water as 
it struck the shingles, and curling them up in its remorseless 
play, carried them back into their ocean-bed. She had heard 
that the ninth billow was the greatest, and she mechanically 
counted from the last largest she saw. The shore was 
shelving, and the body of water thrown up by each advanc- 
ing wave was magnificent ; but to Sabina they seemed only 
like ministers of death to her uncle. 

She found the sense of loneliness intolerable. She would 
try to get up to the cliff, to hear what the sailors and towns- 
men said of the chance of the safety of the boat and its 
small crew. It was difficult to face the wind. 

Luckily, it blew in-shore, and Sabina was not carried over 
:he verge of the headland. She crawled on her hands and 
knees, drenched with wet and shivering with cold ; but at 
ength she reached the group on the summit, and watched 
;heir eager faces illuminated by the torches they carried in 
:heir hands, the flames of which were blown towards them. 
There were no women, for the vessel was a strange one, and 
10 familiar eyes were watching the return of the homeward- 
bound. 

" Do you think they will ever come back ? " said the girl 
vith chattering teeth, touching the arm of one of the sailors. 

" Who ? — the poor souls on the mast ? No, Miss ; they'll 
rever find any home now but the bottom of the sea." 



Sabina. 265 

" Oh ! I mean, will the boat live ? " 

"What boat? There is no boat could live in that sea." 

" Don't speak like that ! " said Sabina, with a little cry. 
" They must, they will come back." 

" Does the young lady say a boat has gone out?" 

" Yes," said Sabina, weeping. 

" Whose boat ? — but there is but one — James Brooks's.' " 

At that moment the sombre masses of vapour parted from 
before the face of the moon, and just where her divine 
radiance illuminated the dark waves a little spot of life was 
seen tossed up and down on the seething waters. The 
sudden light made visible the bald head of Mr. Rock steer- 
ing the little boat — the rapt, enthusiastic air of the preacher, 
whose face was turned to heaven — and the stern, determined 
action of the noble sailor as he bent to his oar, in accordance 
with the eager but less skilful movements of Mr. Ferrers. 
A loud cheer burst from the lips of the spectators simul- 
taneously, repeated again and again, till the echoes gave it 
back even on that wild night, and the sea-birds screamed 
with dissonant terror. 

Sabina burst into tears of triumphant emotion : " If they 
die, they die in a glorious cause ; but oh, my uncle ! " and 
the feeling of triumph died away into sadness. 

"Who, them with James Brooks?" said one. 

" That's the chap that preaches sometimes in our 
chapel." 

" And the old gentleman ? " 

"I don't know he, but he knows what he's about, he 
does ; he's used to a rough sea, I'd warrant. See how he 
gives the boat's head to the wave ; she'd have been swamped 
long ago if the wave had given her a broadside." 

They were pulling painfully, but making but little way in 
that line of tremulous light. The wind was dead against 
them, and the clouds gathered over the face of the moon 
once more, and left the spectator in ignorance whether the 
frail vessel still lived on the troubled waters, or whether 
they had overswept the three men, who with different 
characters, different education, different views, yet were 
united in the common fellowship of unselfish devotion to 
their duty, even unto death, in the effort to save the lives of 
strangers in extremity. 

" You think they'll come back ? — you do think so ? — say 



266 Sab ina. 

so. Do say something," said Sabina, clinging to the arm of 
an old sailor. 

" Can't say, Miss. You see, suppose they ever reach the 
ship, which aint likely in such a sea, there's the chance that 
if they go the other side of the rock the waves will drive 
them against it and stave in the boat ; if they go between 
the wreck and the shore the wind won't let them get close 
enough to get the men away." 

"Could they not drop from the mast and be picked up?" 
"They might if 'twas light, and they were not sucked 
under the hull of the vessel." 

Sabina could get no comfort, and now the group of men, 
who had been at first so eager with their torches, began 
to drop off one by one. 

" Tis no use to stay," they said, in answer to a re- 
monstrance from Sabina. " We're working men, Miss, and 
want our night's rest. If we could do any good we would 
stay, and gladly." 

"Surely," said Sabina, "these lights would be useful in 
guiding the boat back if she were obliged to return. If you 
will not stay, at least make a bonfire which may keep in till 
daylight. Look, I will give you some money — a guinea 
between you three men — if you will get fuel enough to make 
a fire. Make haste ; get it at once. Surely any of the 
people will give you wood and furze for such a purpose. 
Pray, pray, good people, do not go yet. Keep the torches 
burning till the bonfire is lighted. Do not let the poor men 
believe that they are quite deserted in their misery." 

The promise of the reward stimulated the men to exertion, 
and she engaged one of them who went to the village for 
fuel to call at the lodging, and beg the mistress of it to keep 
up fires and hot water for the return of her uncle. 

A peat fire was soon kindled and added to by old tar- 
barrels, furze, pieces of wreck, and faggots. The men re- 
gained some spirit and interest in their occupation, and 
when it was finished and blazed up boldly against the black 
sky, they gave a cheer of triumph that sounded to Sabina 
like the voice of hope. 

They had fulfilled their agreement, however, and now 
prepared to depart, having taken their payment. No more 
was seen of the boat and its determined crew, and Sabina 
sat alone by the side of the beacon-fire, cowering over it, 



Sabina. 267 

and glad of the fitful warmth it imparted to her drenched 
and shivering frame. 

" Some of us will be out at daybreak to drag in the bodies 
and pick up the bits of wreck," said one of the men as he 
left Sabina — an ominous speech, which sank like lead on her 
heart. 

One youth returned with a bundle in his arms : " Mother 
heard say you was here, Miss, and she have sent you her 
Sunday cloak, seeing as how you guv your shawl to the old 
gentleman." 

It was the old scarlet cloak of the cottager of sixty years 
since, which is now gone out of fashion, for that fickle deity 
bears sway in the cottage as well as the palace. Very com- 
fortable in its texture, and very picturesque in its colour, 
and unequalled in either by modern inventions. 

Sabina felt inclined to weep with gratitude towards the 
unknown woman who had done her this kindness, and she 
wrapped herself up in it, and sent her thanks back by the 
youth who had brought the cloak. 

Soon after the moon appeared again ; but the streaming 
line of light only made the shadows over the water look 
more ominously deadly in their intensity. The black hull 
of the vessel was no longer visible ; it might have sunk ; it 
might still be there, but buried in the darkness of the night, 
Sabina's thoughts pursued that small boat freighted with her 
only protector — the one person to whom all her duty was 
due, all her love was given. She was proud of him — proud 
that age had not lessened the beauty of his grand self- 
sacrificing character, — prouder of him tossing about in this 
night of storms in his threadbare, constantly brushed coat, 
than she would have been had he possessed land and wealth, 
and lived at his ease in his possessions, and been dressed in 
superfine cloth, and fared sumptuously every day. 

Sabina had had no innate disposition to self-sacrifice ; but 
as it is impossible to touch pitch without being denied, so it 
is unusual, when two persons are brought into contact for 
years, for the weaker not to acquire some of the qualities of 
the stronger. Besides, she was a Rock, and the Rocks had 
ever proved themselves a sturdy race. 

" He was a fine creature who had accompanied her uncle," 
Sabina thought. In the chapel his deep impassioned voice 
rang in her ears; though she had felt a disposition to hate 



268 Sabina. 

him when he took her uncle away, yet he was right to go. 
Her uncle was right also. " He who would save his life 
shall lose it, and whosoever would lose his life for His sake 
shall save it." Ah ! that does not mean this living, breathing, 
warm sentient life; it means existence in some future 
state. Some future state ! How vague that sounds ! This 
life is like the bit of gold with which one crosses the gipsy's 
hand, and receives in return the promise of unknown good 
things. Ah ! but one should have faith — in the gipsy, too, I 
suppose — yet, anyway, the determination to sacrifice one's 
life for another is half-divine. To do it deliberately, too — 
not with a sudden impulse, such as has led men to snatch 
the fuze from the fallen shell ere it burst, and save them- 
selves and their comrades from the explosion. The effort 
here is continuous ; they might return and rest their weary 
arms and warm their frozen limbs by the fires of their homes ; 
but living creatures are clinging to the broken mast, and 
they go defying danger and fatigue to try to save them. 

Sabina repiled her fire, and stirred it with a stick. " Could 
her uncle see it ? " she wondered. He would never know 
that the bonfire was her institution — that she was sitting, 
exposed to the strife of the elements, in the loneliness 
of that cliff-top, to keep it alight. Her uncle was a strict 
disciplinarian, and no doubt he expected — if, alas ! that 
dear old head had still any power of cogitating — that she 
had obeyed his orders, and had returned home to bed. 

All kinds of old memories returned on her ; amongst the 
rest, two lines in the favourite book of her childhood haunted 
her like an evil omen, — 

" Piled on the cliff the blazing faggots burn, 
To hail the bark which never shall return." 

Then at that thought she covered her face with her hands, 
and rocked herself backwards and forwards in her agony. 
Strange to say, the loss of her uncle was the single misfortune 
she dreaded. The loss of the old man whom she loved so 
tenderly — the utter destitution in which that loss would 
plunge her — never occurred to her mind. Had it done so, 
it would have been thrust aside as trivial, for Sabina was un- 
selfish in her way too. What was she, she argued, but a 
leaf quivering on the grand old trunk, which the bitter winds 



Sab i /i a. 269 

were upheaving to hurl it to destruction. How dark and 
dreary it was on the height ! The wind had sunk and the 
rain had ceased for some time. It was impossible to per- 
ceive where the sea-line joined the sky — all was black alike. 
On the side of the village there had been a few twinkling 
lights in the windows after Sabina had been left in solitude, 
but those had died out, and with them her feeling of human 
companionship. 

" Alone in this dark solitude ! It is frightful," thought the 
girl. " Shall I say a prayer ? Will God hear me ? " 

Sabina had always revolted from religious service because 
her uncle had enforced it so strictly. She set herself in 
silent opposition to all the doctrines he had inculcated. 

" How often," she used to think, " should I have shared 
the fate of old Longlegs,and been flung down stairs, had all 
my rebellion been guessed at." Now she felt the want of a 
greater protection than man could give her ; she was deserted 
by human aid. She turned her fine flashing face, illuminated 
by the peat fire, to the dark sky. 

" God ! if Thou art powerful ! if Thou art merciful ! hear 
my prayer. Save him ! save my dear uncle ! " — and her 
voice went off into a wailing sob — " Save the brave men in 
fearful peril this night ! Give them success in their efforts ! 
Restore them safely to their homes ! And oh, Great God ! 
■ — Great Spirit that movest on the face of the deep ! — give 
me, if Thou carest for so small a creature — give me a sign 
that I am not forgotten in this vast solitude of storms and 
darkness ! If Thou lovest Thy creatures, let the knowledge 
of it come on my mind ! " 

She prayed aloud on the bleak hill-top, and then she 
bowed her head on her knees and wept silently. When she 
raised her face from her covering hands, a long line of light, 
very slightly defined, was visible on the distant horizon. 
Day was breaking, but it seemed to Sabina that the Almighty 
had vouchsafed a sign by which she might recognise His 
protection. Her bosom began to palpitate with exultation. 
Surely the dawn would show her the boat returning to the 
shore. She watched the rim of light, which broadened into 
deeper colour, but it was as yet too feeble to illuminate 
distant objects. She buried her head again in her cloak. 
All was still now, excepting that the sea-birds, one or two, 
began their circling flight with harsh cries, to hail the rising 



270 Sabina. 

sun. No one was moving in the village, and Sabina alone 
was watching to decide the question, " Is it life or is it 
death?" 

It was a gray expanse of water and sky, only broken by 
the saffron line of light. Now dimly discernible was the 
line of dark cliffs, and something blacker still, wedged upon 
one of the sunken rocks at their base. " That is the hull of 
the vessel," said Sabina, " but where are they ? " A fog 
hung like a filmy veil, over the proximity of the land, as yet 
not penetrated by the new-born sun. " They may be there, 
though I cannot see them," said the poor girl, clinging to 
hope. 

The sun arose higher and higher. It pierced the fog, and 
with eyes almost blinded by her falling tears she ran over 
every nook, every shadow in which the boat might be con- 
cealed. It was nowhere to be seen, and Sabina twisted her 
hands in her dark hair, and looked upbraidingly to heaven 
in her despair. 

She dropped her head again on her breast. What does 
she see ? A speck on the heaving water, coming from the 
vicinity of the hull of the wreck. Now it is lost in the trough 
of the still perturbed billows. She stares breathlessly. 'Tis 
the boat ! It must be ! How slowly they approach ! Ah ! 
it is heavy — heavy with the rescued crew ! " 

" Oh God ! I thank thee ! " 

And on her knees, before her now useless beacon fire, 
Sabina extended her arms and turned her glowing face to- 
wards the heaven from whence the help had come, 




CHAPTER XXXI. 




" His eager passions ruled by purest law, 
Licentiousness he looked on with disdain ; 
Despising luxury, his wealth he saw- 
But as a means to lessen human pain ; 
To elevate mankind his strenuous aim, 
To aid the weak, the wandering to reclaim." 

SlITH the first feeling of relief from the extreme 
tension of Sabina's mind came personal considera- 
tions of a perplexing nature. Her bonnet — her 
best bonnet — was spoilt. Her dress would wash, — 
everything, in fact, but her bonnet and her boots, — " and 
those," she said sadly, "have been washed enough already." 
She must go home and prepare for her dear old uncle. What 
a joyful thought ! He must know nothing of her night's ex- 
posure. She would go and trim the fires, and prepare the 
breakfast for him, and perhaps for the others, and come 
back in neat dry clothes to meet him at the pier, from 
whence she had seen him depart with so much anxiety and 
anguish. 

" Bless me, Miss Rock, out all night ! A fine death of 
cold you must have caught, poor dear ! Drenched ! Law ! 
Miss, your nice bonnet is quite squashed with the rain ; that 
comes of going to them meetings," added the lodging- 
house keeper, in a low voice, for she was a High Church 
woman. "Mr. Rock coming back, you say, Miss? Break- 
fast directly? Certainly. No rolls till eight o'clock; make 
some dry toast for the gentlemen. Eggs ? Yes." 

Sabina was twisting her boots about in the effort to free 
her feet from their flabby folds, whilst the maid brought her 
the footbath. She was soon washed and dressed, and felt 



272 Sabina. 

the inestimable comfort of the warmth, which enabled her to 
hurry to meet her uncle, and bring him to partake of it. She 
ran out swiftly, knocking at the doors of the fishermen, 
whose dwellings skirted the coast, to summon them to the 
beach. They stretched their giant limbs and obeyed the 
order, though not with Sabina's vivacity ; but there were 
nice pickings to be had on the days that succeeded a wreck, 
and " early birds get the first worms," they agreed, as they 
turned out. 

When Sabina arrived at the pier, the beladen boat was 
nearing it. It was fortunate — it was, as Mr. Ferrers said, 
providential — that the wind had sunk before they attempted 
to return with the load of helpless creatures, or the spent and 
weary rowers must have failed to reach the land before the 
waves had swamped the boat. 

As it was, Mr. Rock had had to take the oar first of one, 
and then of the other of his companions. 

He was rowing, that gallant veteran, as they came near 
the steps on which Sabina was standing, too much moved for 
speech. He gave her one look of love, and then busied 
himself with the boat and its helpless load. There were 
many willing hands now to help to convey the half-insensible 
crew of the wrecked vessel to the nearest public house ; and 
free from all present duties, excepting those of self-care, Mr. 
Rock and his companions stood on the stout bulwark of 
stone. 

" Call on me to-morrow, James Brook," said Mr. Ferrers ; 
and the seaman knew that the order implied a coming gift. 

" Oh, my uncle ! come home," said the girl, clasping both 
hands round his arm ; " you are so wet, so cold, and break- 
fast is ready." 

" Will you take some breakfast with us ? " said Mr. Rock, 
addressing Mr. Ferrers. 

" I think I should prefer returning home first," said that 
gentleman. " If you will permit me, I will visit you in the 
course of the day. I am very wet, as well as yourself. Your 
uncle has been mercifully preserved to you, young lady ; 
give God the thanks : — 

' The storm was hushed, the winds retired, 
Obedient to His will ; 
The sea that rose at His command, 
At His command was still.' 



Sabina. 273 

I was right in accepting the service which he offered ; but 
had it ended in the loss of his mortal life, my grief for your 
sake would have been heavy." 

He shook hands heartily with Mr. Rock, and with a 
slight bow to his niece, he was gone. 

Sabina had lit a fire in Mr. Rock's small bed-room, which 
was nearly filled by the four-post bed, with dimity curtains, 
and had placed him before the fire in his dressing-gown, 
with his feet in hot water. A glass of hot brandy-and-water 
was on the chair by his side, and Sabina chafed his numbed 
hands with her soft, warm fingers, and sometimes kissed the 
dear, bald head she had never expected to caress again, and 
sometimes prattled of the events of the night past. 

"So, tell me, uncle, all about it. Did you hear the cheer 
the men on the cliff gave when they saw you ?" 

" Yes, we heard it, and would have waved a handkerchief, 
only we were too anxious. It was ticklish work, you see, to 
avoid being swamped." 

"And how did you manage to get the men into the 
boat?" 

" We waited in the lee of the shore till we could see to 
pick them up, and then we cruised about round the wreck, 
and called on them to drop. Some of them were more than 
half dead from cold, and nearly upset the boat as they were 
dragged in. That is a brave young man, that preaching 
fellow ; so is the owner of the boat. I can't make out the 
preacher. But, Sabina, my child, I think I will go to bed." 

Sabina was out of the room in an instant, and returned 
with a pan of live coals to warm the bed. After she had 
done so, she took it down, and brought her uncle's breakfast 
to his bedside. He had drank the brandy-and-water, and 
refused to eat. 

" I want sleep, my child ; I am exhausted. Seventy is 
rather late in life to play such pranks. I wonder what 
Orellan and Susan will say ? " 

And he dropped off to sleep, whilst Sabina did justice to 
the neglected breakfast, and lying down by the side of her 
uncle, from whom she feared to part, lest he should awake 
and want any aid, she slept also the sleep of happiness ; her 
outstretched hand on the top of the shoulder which was 
turned from her. 

Mr. Ferrers was the grandson of a man of large estates 
iS 



274 Sabina. 

and a fine fortune. The grandfather had an only son, who 
was the rightful heir to the whole of it ; but Squire Ferrers 
spent the fortune first in riot and contested elections, helped 
on by a passion for hunting, to indulge which he kept a pack 
of hounds, and a large stud of horses. Hunting employed 
the mornings, hard drinking the nights. His son was a youth 
of refined tastes, loving music, poetry, and painting. His 
father called him a milksop, and essayed " to make a man 
of him," by making him drunk every evening. 

The boy resented the experiment, and ran away to sea. 
There were no competitive examinations in those days ; men 
and officers being required in the navy, were thankfully ac- 
cepted, and no questions asked. The captain of the ship 
soon found out that he had a gentleman's son on board, and 
the Admiralty made him a midshipman; in due time he 
passed a brilliant examination as a lieutenant. During this 
time he had received but a small sum yearly from his father ; 
but providence is not a virtue that takes root on board of a 
man-of-war. During a fortnight's stay on shore, whilst his 
ship was refitting, he fell in love with the penniless daughter 
of a general officer. The father refused his consent, so the 
young couple took their own way, and married without it. 
They were very happy so long as they lived ; but a malignant 
fever closed their lives within a few days of each other, 
leaving but one child, the Mr. Ferrers of whom we spoke in 
the preceding chapter. Mr. Ferrers imagined that he should 
inherit a large property at his grandsire's death ; but he found 
himself possessed only of a ruinous farm which had been 
built amongst the crumbling and ivy-covered walls of an old 
abbey. The bulk of the property, though entailed, had been 
sold illegally. This was not detected till after the death of 
the grandfather, who had sacrificed the greater part of the 
paternal property to the hounds, having, as his friends ob- 
served, literally "gone to the dogs." When Edward 
Ferrers came of age, he was informed by his lawyer that he 
might reclaim the property by a proceeding at law, in which 
the success would be certain, the transaction having taken 
place when his father, from his prolonged stay in the East 
Indies with his vessel, was incapable of signing any per- 
mission, or of invalidating his own claim to the succession. 
The young man answered that he would think about it ; and 
he used his great share of intelligence in trying to discover 



Sabina. 275 

the nature of the transaction. He found that the lawyers on 
both sides had been rogues ; but that the client who pur- 
chased, having been an honest, simple-minded man, knew not 
that he was party to a fraud, and had at his death divided 
the property amongst his children, who then possessed it. 
The loss, of course, with all the back rents, would have been 
ruinous to them. 

Edward Ferrers pondered deeply. He had but little 
money, and knew its value, but he decided on not claiming 
for himself that which would bring suffering on the innocent. 
At college he had always been of a grave and thoughtful 
character. Several young men of similar tendencies banded 
themselves together to make a stand against the intem- 
perance and dissipation of their companions. They met at 
each other's rooms to discuss religious subjects, and aided 
each other "to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this 
present world." 

Highly strung and enthusiastic, the services of the Church 
seemed, to young Ferrers, too cold and inanimate to express 
the wants and necessities of his ardent soul. He separated 
himself from her, and joined the Methodists, to the ap- 
pointed preacher of whose chapel he was so liberal a yearly 
donor, that they made no objection to his sometimes usurp- 
ing the pulpit to deliver discourses, which with their wild 
eloquence, put to shame the jog-trot effusions of their ap- 
pointed pastor. How could that man-fearing man have 
ventured on such an attack on sleepers, who provided him 
with the means of living, and gave him the good dinner, the 
partaking of which had produced frequently such somni- 
ferous effects on the donors ? 

Mr. Ferrers seemed, either by conviction or inclination, to 
spend nearly all his substance on others. He had yet an 
income of about fifteen hundred a year, of which he spent 
about a hundred only on himself. The tailor at Fowey 
made his clothes ; one female servant did the work of his 
house, and waited on him. As he knew nothing of farming, 
his land was let, and, fortunately for him, to an honest 
tenant, who felt a pity for the young man, of whom, when 
speaking to others, he always sighed and tapped his brow 
with a significant nod, which indicated "all is not right 
there." He had given a life-boat to Fowey, but it had been 
borrowed by Mevagissey, and had broken down from its car 
18—2 



276 Sabina. 

on the road home. The crew had been sent with it, or his 
services, and those of Mr. Rock, would not have been re- 
quired to rescue the drowning seamen. 

He had instituted a school for boys, in which orphans 
were clothed and educated gratis ; but those parents who 
could pay a small sum were required to do so, as experience 
had taught him that benefits, to obtain which no sacrifice is 
made, are little valued. Those persons who were simply 
unfortunate, were sure to find advice and pecuniary aid at 
the Abbey Farm ; but those whose conduct could not bear 
investigation, shrank from the questions of an inquisitor so 
shrewd and unsparing as Mr. Ferrers. 

This was the gentleman who, in the course of the morning, 
came to visit Mr. Rock. Sabina had arisen and dressed 
herself afresh, and had come down stairs, a little uneasy 
that her uncle had not moved even in his sleep. 

"How is the gentleman, Mr. ?" 

" Rock is my uncle's name. He is a half-pay lieutenant 
in the navy." 

" Ah ! I guessed his profession from the nautical skill he 
displayed in steering the boat last night. Where is he ? " 

" My uncle is asleep still," said Sabina, with a look so 
anxious that Mr. Ferrers answered it. 

" Shall I go up and see him ? Will it disturb him ? " 

" I wish you would. I have no one to consult," said 
Sabina with a quivering lip, " and I am so anxious about 
him." 

" Show me the way," replied the guest, and he followed 
the girl on tiptoe. 

He looked steadily at the movement of the bed-clothes 
for a few minutes, and then came out as softly as he had 
entered. 

" Your uncle is doing very well ; he is only exhausted by 
fatigue." Then with a kindling eye, he exclaimed, " What 
a magnificent old man he is ! How few at his age would 
have braved death so gallantly ! " 

The praise of her uncle made Sabina's cheeks glow, and 
Mr. Ferrers seeing it, thought for the first time that she was 
beautiful. 

" Were you very anxious last night, or could you manage 
to get any hours of sleep ? " 

" No ; I did not sleep." 



Sabina. 277 

"No, indeed, poor young lady!" said the loquacious 
landlady from the adjoining room, through the open door of 
which she had listened to the conversation, in which she 
now joined without scruple. "How could she sleep, I 
should like to know, when she was out on the top of the 
cliff all night, keeping up the bonfire, when all the rest of 
the folks was in bed ? Drenched with rain and quite blue 
with the cold she was when she came back. And you gave 
your uncle your shawl ? " 

" Ah ! some kind woman sent me her cloak. I don't 
know her name, but her son brought it to me. I was not 
very cold, really ; you see I had the fire ; only it was 
lonely." 

Mr. Ferrers looked at her with admiration. "You knew 
you were not wholly alone ? You knew that you were watched 
by an eye that never sleeps ? " 

Sabina was silent. She could not discuss such subjects 
with a stranger. He looked at her inquiringly as if expect- 
ing an answer. 

" I cannot talk on subjects so — awful," said Sabina, 
trying to find a word, " with a perfect stranger." 

" Pardon me," he replied, with much sweetness, " circum- 
stances gave me such interest in you, that I have been im- 
pertinent. Where I found so much, I could not endure to 
think that anything should be lacking." 

To this Sabina made no reply but walked to the window, 
and looked out on the bit of garden bordered by sea-pinks, 
the bunches of withered carnations, and the purple berries 
of the laurel, now gleaming in the midday sun, the more 
vividly from the rain that had fallen on the previous night. 
The sun being nearly vertical threw out slight shadows, and 
beyond the small enclosure the waves glittered and danced, 
as if they had never felt storms, or occasioned death. 

" How beautiful is the sunshine ! " exclaimed Sabina. 
" How it pervades everything with happiness and glory. 
How different from the turmoil and gloom of last 
night ! " 

She was silent, and he did not immediately answer ; she 
looked towards him to see if he were attending. He 
answered to the look. 

" As the world is -wrapped in darkness and gloom, so is the 
unregenerate soul ; but when God has shed the beams of 



278 Sabina. 

his grace on the heart, it is flooded by sunshine, which no 
clouds can obscure, no night withdraw." 

The sentiment was so raised by the enthusiasm of the 
speaker above the ordinary level of conversation, that Sabina 
was silent. Her companion had seemingly ceased to think 
of her, and was gazing out on the horizon with far away 
thoughts. So she stole out of the room, and went to her 
uncle's bed-side, and had the comfort of seeing him open 
his eyes. 

She prevailed on him to remain in bed whilst she pre- 
pared his breakfast, and Mr. Ferrers, catching sight of her 
as she was going up with the tray in her hands, thought how 
beautiful she was, and how useful to her uncle, and dim 
half-thoughts arose in his mind, which had never before 
obtained admission therein, as to whether he should be 
happier with a wife. Sabina saw the look he cast on her, 
and only thought, "Mr. Tresillian would have offered to 
carry the tray for me himself." 

When she returned to the sitting-room, Mr. Ferrers had 
his hat in his hand. "I wish you good-morning, young 
lady. I am going round to collect subscriptions for the 
families of those left orphaned by the storm. I shall call 
again in the course of the day, when I hope Mr. Rock will 
be awake, and when he will doubtless be glad to add his 
contribution to that of the others." 

" Pray, do no such thing," said Sabina. " My uncle 
cannot afford to given even a sixpence ; he is a very poor 
man." 

" Everyone can sacrifice something out of the smallest 
income for those who want it more, having nothing," replied 
the gentleman, gravely. 

" Yes, he risked his life, and has probably shortened it by 
what he did last night; that was all he could give. Do 
you think there is no self-sacrifice except in giving money 
you do not want ? Is not the daily effort to keep within a 
pinching income, the painful struggle 'to do justice,' as 
much as ' loving mercy ' in the manner you propose ? My 
poor uncle," continued the girl, the glow with which she 
had spoken fading from her face, " goes without nourishing 
food, lest he should go in debt even a half-penny. I will 
not have him asked for money; he cannot give without starving 
himself." 



Sabina. 279 

Mr. Ferrers was silent in admiration of the old man 
whose character was thus described, and of the girl who so 
boldly and indignantly had warded off an attack on her 
uncle's purse. 

Silent, too, from many perplexing considerations; he 
wished to ask Mr. Rock to dine with him, but he knew 
nothing of housekeeping, and depended for his food on a 
wilful old servant. 

Had he been unshackled by that domestic thraldom, he 
would have ordered a leg of mutton and baked potatoes, 
which was the only dish that ever suggested itself to his 
memory. Once cooked, the leg appeared and disappeared 
daily till it was finished, and Mr. Ferrers never thought any 
variety necessary. He could not remember when the leg 
had last been cooked, and on this point he was resolved to 
call Alice, the maid of all work, into consultation on his 
return home, to draw up the statement as to the wreck. 

So he left Sabina in silence, and she felt a little ashamed 
of the warmth with which she had spoken, and feared she 
had offended her new acquaintance. But she knew that, 
though the manner of her speech might have been faulty, 
the substance of it was right, so she took Lady Sarah's veil, 
and went on with her mending till her uncle joined her in 
the sitting-room, a little pale and tired, yet with such a look 
of satisfaction in his face, that Sabina told him that a night's 
exposure on his favourite element had made him ten years 
younger. 

Soon after, Mr. Orellan arrived, very fussy and important, 
and rather vexed that his absence, occasioned by the neces- 
sity of looking after some smugglers, had prevented his being 
present the night before. 

He was eager to show Mr. Rock his small house, and the 
two old sailors walked out together, talking over past and 
present times, and feeling as if the separation of a few days 
had been lengthened out into years. 

Mr. Rock was grateful to Mr. Tresillian, and Mr. Orellan 
was grateful to Mr. Rock, though with a vague thought that 
his great services had no doubt clinched the success of the 
application, so soon as his antecedents had been inquired 
into, and that his merits had been at length appreciated by 
the ungrateful Lords of the Admiralty. From his friend 
Orellan, Mr. Rock heard full particulars of his eccentric 



280 Sabina. 

companion in the past danger. His peculiar character 
found little favour with either of the old sailors, who were 
staunch Church-and-King's men. To leave the Church and 
its long services, and pray after his own fashion, they both 
agreed, must be little less than profane. "A conceited 
fellow !" Mr. Orellan declared he must be, to think that he 
knew better than the fathers of the Church, all those great 
and pious men, who had given their sanction to the form of 
words called " Morning and Evening Prayer." He won- 
dered, for his part, why the Almighty did not express his 
anger by a thunderbolt falling on that schism-shop, and 
confounding all the seceders from Mother Church. 

" He is very brave," said Mr. Rock. " And you say he 
gives most of his substance to the poor." 

" That's no reason why he should set himself up as know- 
ing better than the fathers of the Church," interposed Mr. 
Orellan. 

" That is true," said Mr. Rock, meekly ; and as he did 
not like the small slandering which few think wrong in 
conversation, he turned Mr. Orellan's attention to nautical 
subjects. 

" Bring that flimsy fabric with you, Miss Rock," said Mr. 
Ferrers, "for I cannot promise you any amusement at the 
Abbey Farm excepting what you may provide for yourself." 
This was uttered as Sabina and her uncle were preparing to 
accompany him to dine at the Gothic hour of three o'clock 
at his home, the difficulty about the leg of mutton not 
having been found insuperable. 

Just as they were sitting down to dinner Mr. Ferrers re- 
membered that there was no wine on the table, and dashed 
off to the cellar, from which he returned with some cobweb- 
covered bottles of port and sherry, the relics of his grand- 
father's stock. Mr. Rock stopped him as he was about to 
draw the corks. " My niece and I are water drinkers. Pray, 
do not decant the wine on our account, for I hear that you 
avoid all fermented liquors." 

" It is true," said Mr. Ferrers. " I keep the wine for the 
old and infirm. Yet, I think you need support " 

" I never take such, thank you." 

The conversation turned on the wrecked vessel, and the 
number of men lost. Warned by his previous conversation 



Sabina. 20 1 

with Sabina, Mr. Ferrers said nothing about the subscrip- 
tion, but conversed very agreeably on politics in general, 
and on the local interest of the place. Each thought the 
other a mistaken man, for Mr. Rock was a Tory, and Mr. 
Ferrers, whose quick sympathies were given to the lower 
classes, was a Radical, which in Tory interpretation meant a 
revolutionist. But, as each was a gentleman, they kept to 
themselves their respective opinions, which were that Mr. 
Rock was the servant of a" corrupt government, and that 
Mr. Ferrers would go to a hot place in the next world for 
wishing to subvert it. 

After dinner Sabina wandered into the inner-room, which 
might be called the withdrawing-room in its original sense, 
for no little feminine niceties marked the room in its 
modern acceptation of the word. It had been the chapel 
of the abbey, and having suffered less from decay than the 
rest of the building, had been allowed to retain its old pro- 
portions. Sabina thought it charming. The windows were 
lanceolated, and the mullions of old gray stone were partly 
covered with ivy and Virginia creeper. The upper parts of 
the windows were rich in the glorious dyes of old stained 
glass, and between them there were shelves of books, 
some speaking of college studies, and others the remains of 
his grandfather's and father's library. 

New books were like new companions for Sabina. The 
lace veil was folded up and put safely away, whilst she en- 
joyed the delight of taking down one volume after an- 
other, which, though old, had to her the charm of novelty. 
She sprung down from the chair on which she had mounted, 
feeling a little ashamed, when the gentlemen entered, and 
looking carefully lest she should have scratched the old oak 
chair with her boots. 

" I defy you to hurt anything here, Miss Rock. If these 
books amuse you, you are welcome to take any of them to 
your lodgings, or to come here and read them if you prefer 
it. No one will disturb you, for I do not occupy this room ; 
and as' it was a chapel and the dignitaries of the abbey were 
buried here, old Alice thinks the room is haunted, and does 
not enter it oftener than she is compelled." 

Before they separated in the evening, Mr. Ferrers pro- 
posed prayers. Mr. Rock agreed, on condition they were 
selected from the Prayer Book. To this Mr. Ferrers as- 



282 SaUna. 

sented, though he would have preferred trusting to his own in- 
spiration. He walked home with them to their lodgings ; 
on the way thither they were joined by Mr. Orellan, who 
walked on with Mr. Rock in front, whilst Sabina and the 
other gentleman followed. 

The girl dropped out of earshot of their elders, and 
said, — 

" Is it usual to pray together at the end of a social 
evening ? " 

" I do not know that it is usual. In the world certainly 
not ; but I trust we are not of the world. Do you not like 
the custom ? " 

" I do not think I do," said Sabina. " I had rather pray 
when I am alone. Somehow I feel ashamed in company, 
unless it be at church, whither we go for the purpose of 
prayer " 

" ' Those who are ashamed of Him in this world, of them 
also will He be ashamed in the world to come.' " 

" It was all very well," said Sabina, " when public acts of 
devotion to Christ subjected the devout to imprisonment 
and death, then there must have been something sublime in 
praying even in the corner of the streets or on the house- 
tops. But in the present day, when the religion proclaimed 
by Him is that sanctioned by government, I think the least 
said about it the better, except amongst bosom-friends, or at 
seasons appointed by the Church itself. Otherwise one feels 
inclined to think of Little Jack Horner, who said, ' What a 
good boy am I ! ' " 

Mr. Ferrers felt affronted, but did not know what to 
answer at the moment. At length he spoke in a tone of 
pique, — 

" Pardon me if I have transgressed the usual rules of 
society. I felt towards the gentleman, for the time at least, 
with whom I had been placed in such imminent peril, as 
one might feel towards a bosom friend, and with such even 
you admit such a custom is allowable. I will not forget for 
the future to observe towards you and Mr. Rock the distance 
which you seem to desire." 

" I am very sorry if I have offended you," said Sabina, 
humbly. 

She _ remembered how much pleasure she had antici- 
pated in reading his books, and she held his hand an in- 



Sabina. 



28; 



stant, in the hope that he would forgive her and shake 
hers cordially. But he did not, and thus they separated. 
And he returned to the Abbey Farm to think of Sabina half 
the night, and to dream of her the rest of its hours ; and 
she, after a moment's vexation, gave her uncle his insipid 
gruel, and then slept quietly without dreaming of anything 
in particular. 




CHAPTER XXXII. 




" Thou robb'st my days of business and delights, 
Of sleep thou robb'st my nights ; 
Ah ! lovely thief, what wilt thou do ? 
What — rob me of heaven, too ? 
Thou e'en my prayers dost from me steal, 
And I, with wild idolatry, 
Begin with God, and end them all in thee." 

jjIS residence at Saint Eve improved Mr. Rock's 
health, and gave him almost a rejuvenescence. 
They remained there a second and then a third 
week. The two old lieutenants were inseparable, 
for each was interested t in the interests of Mr. Orellan. 
Happiness, too, is a great lightener of the heart and 
sweetener of the temper, and the poor lieutenant, relieved 
from the cares of house-rent and with increased pay, felt 
disposed to make his old companion partake of the com- 
fort he had been the means of procuring. The bedridden 
wife had obtained increased strength from change and im- 
proved food, — and all this good had resulted from Mr. 
Tresillian's interest at the Admiralty. 

But of that gentleman we must now speak. He had re- 
turned to Tregear, and, at Lady Sarah's suggestion, he rode 
over the following day to look for Sabina, and to hasten her 
return to Tregear. 

" I hope she may have finished the veil by this time," 
said the lady, thoughtfully. " Whether she have or not, she 
had better come back ; for her voice is beautiful, and the 
house is dull without her." 

So Mr. Tresillian called at Mr. Rock's house, and made 
acquaintance with Susan. He wanted to hear all about 



Sabina. 285 

Sabina, and leaving his horses at the hotel, he walked to 
the house with this determination. He asked leave to come 
in and drink a glass of water, when he had heard of the 
absence of Mr. Rock and Sabina, which fact he had learnt 
from the groom at the hotel. Susan was much flattered, 
and opened the shutters of the sitting-room in a hurry, and 
dusted a chair with her apron ; after which she departed to 
pump the water afresh, and left Mr. Tresillian alone. He 
looked round. " What a very poorly furnished room it Avas, 
now that the light and beauty of Sabina's childish grace was 
no longer there ! " There was her shabby little work-box on 
the sideboard. Mr. Tresillian opened it, and took out a 
small bow of blue ribbon, which Sabina had worn on her 
white muslin dress on the night when he had last seen her, 
and crushed it into his waistcoat pocket. 

'• Here's the water, Sir; beautiful spakling clear water as 
ever you drank. The lieutenant is very particular what 
water he drinks, and 'tis excusable, as 'tis all that he cares 
for except coffee and tea. Have I heard from them, do you 
say, Sir ? Oh, yes ! no, not exactly from them, but I have 
a nevey, a sister's son, living at Fowey, and he corned over 
to see me last Sunday, and he said, — would you believe, 
would you believe it, Sir, — that master went out all in that 
storm that day sen'night, to a wreck to save lives, and that 
Miss Sabina was at the top of the cliff for hours to keep up 
the watch-fire that they might see the way back. And they 
do say," said Susan, with a knowing look at Mr. Tresillian, 
" that a gentleman, that went out after the poor drowning 
folks along with my master, is very sweet upon my young 
missus, and well he may be, for there is not a girl so good 
nor so pretty behaved if you was to hunt Cornwall over, or 
Devonshire either, for that matter." 

" Indeed ! I'm very glad to hear it ! " exclaimed Mr. 
Tresillian, with a little forced laugh. " And who may this 
fine gentleman be ? What is his name ? " 

" Oh, Sir ! perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned, for 'tis 
only town talk, you see; and I don't suppose anything is 
settled yet. The gentleman's name, Sir, is Ferrers, Sir ; a 
gentleman what does a deal of good in Saint Eve and the 
neighbourhood." 

" Ah ! I think I've seen him. Stout fellow, — stout, — 
squints ! " 



286 Sabina. 

" Dear me, Sir ! why, my nevey says he's a tall well- 
favoured gentleman as ever you'll wish to see ! " 

"Damn him!" said Mr. Tresillian, sotto voce. "You 
don't know when Mr. Rock is likely to return, then ? " 

" No, Sir ; they only went for a week, and they have 
stayed three. And I reckon, if there is anything in what 
my nevey says " 

" Good-morning ! you will say I called. I have no card," 
said Mr. Tresillian, breaking off the conversation abruptly. 
" A little ungrateful," — he began, and then he paused. What 
right had he to complain ? Was he not married, — married 
to that lump of insipidity ? What an accursed fool he had 
been to marry her ! He had never loved her, — he had 
never really loved till he had known this child. Yet, his 
love would be destruction to her, — he could not marry her. 
She did not know that, — she might love him, believing him 
to be free, if he kept his own counsel, — and then ? Well, 
then she must be his mistress, and he would marry her if 
ever he were free. He did not say when Mabel died, but 
he meant it, for he saw no other chance of freedom. 

The next day Mr. Tresillian drove his dennet down to 
Saint Eve. He did not arrive there till the evening, and 
after putting up his horse at the hotel, he walked hastily to 
Mr. Rock's lodgings. 

" Mr. Rock was gone out with Mr. Orellan, the gentle- 
man belonging to the coast-guard," the woman said. " Miss 
Rock was on the beach somewhere with a book ; she often 
sat there for hours." 

He asked in what direction she had gone, and hastened 
to find her. The beach in the direction she had gone was 
deserted, for the townsfolk of Saint Eve, when they had 
time for walking, preferred the pier, where most was to be 
seen. 

Thus he walked on uninterruptedly over the soft, yellow 
sand, and round the dark headlands, till he saw in the dis- 
tance a small figure seated, which might have been taken 
for a sea-bird. 

He wished he were one for the time, to skim over that 
broad tract of sand, and reach her side, whom his thoughts 
sped onward to meet so eagerly. 

He began to walk so fast, that he was out of breath. He 
could distinguish her clearly now in her light gingham dress, 



Sabina. 287 

dark hair, and hat thrown back. She was seated on the 
sands, her hands clasped over her knees, looking at the 
waters, as the waters danced nearly to her feet and then 
swept back again. If she had had a book, she had laid it 
aside. What would not Mr. Tresillian have given to have 
found, on creeping softly behind her, that, like Astarte, she 
had traced the name of her absent lover on the sands, — 
and that name his own. She does not look around, and 
she does not hear anything but the washing of the eternal 
seas. 

He will soon reach her now. She moves, but her head 
is turned to the opposite side of the beach from the one by 
which he approaches her. She stands up, and her head is 
thrown back with eager, seemingly with painful attention. 

At what is she looking ? A darker figure is descending 
the face of the cliff, over a path seldom used, from its 
danger. 

" That must be he — Mr. Ferrers — confound him ! I wish 
he would break his neck ! " 

But Mr. Tresillian's wicked wishes were vain. A tall 
figure stood by Sabina's side, and clasped her hand. 

"Will he never drop it?" was Mr. Tresillian's angry 
query. " How I should enjoy knocking him down." 

He had given her something — some wild flower from the 
face of the cliff, which she had been unable to reach. Oh ! 
they were walking slowly this way. Mr. Tresillian recog- 
nised him now. He had been at Cambridge with Mr. 
Ferrers, a third-year man, when he, Wilfred, had been a 
freshman. People had spoken of his great talents, and that 
he was over-reading himself, which seemed proved when, 
though a high wrangler, he had missed being senior. Mr. 
Tresillian had thought of reading for honours, but it had 
ended in thought. He thought he would enjoy the first 
year, and make up for lost time in the second. He was 
full as clever as Ferrers, with whom he had been at Harrow. 
The masters had said he, Tresillian, might do anything, and 
attain any honours, and he received the dictum with satis- 
faction, and rested on it. 

In the meantime Edward Ferrers had [worked steadily 
from the time of his leaving Harrow till he went into the 
Senate House. He had trusted to being senior wrangler, 
but before the end of the second day's examination he had 



288 Sabim. 

been carried to his chambers in an attack of inflammation 
of the brain. What he had done, however, had entitled 
him to a high position, and he received the illness as a 
punishment from the Almighty for caring too much for the 
praise of men. 

Mr. Tresillian felt that he should do great things ; but the 
second year passed, and nothing had been attempted, and 
then he thought it was too late to try. He took a respect- 
able place amongst those who did not try for honours, and 
had passed the three years in great dissipation and great 
enjoyment ; but he had neither injured his health nor involved 
his fortune, and considered himself a lucky fellow. 

Now looking at Ferrers as he walked by the side of 
Sabina, stooping his great height to bend over her, he envied 
him his college honours for the first time. 

" He's handsome, too — confound him ! But such a may- 
pole ! She cannot like him," he exclaimed, as he felt a 
strong suspicion, from her upturned face, as she replied to 
his words, that she did so. " I wonder when they will find 
me out ; they are too much occupied to see a man walking 
straight towards them." 

They did see him at length, and Sabina gave a little re- 
joicing cry, and ran towards him with a cordiality for which 
both gentlemen could have shaken her, each interpreting 
her innocent greeting to his own displeasure. 

" She loves him too tenderly to conceal her delight at 
seeing him again," thought the enthusiast. 

" She does not care a straw for me, or she would not ex- 
press her pleasure at meeting so warmly and openly," 
thought Mr. Tresillian. 

After Sabina had precipitated question after question on 
the new comer about Lady Sarah and Tregear, and a thou- 
sand trifles connected with her stay there, she saw that there 
was silence and gloom between the two gentlemen, and 
attributed it to her ill manners in not having introduced 
them to each other. 

" I beg your pardon ; Mr. Tresillian, permit me to intro- 
duce my friend Mr. Ferrers ; Mr. Ferrers, Mr. Tresillian ; " 
and the gentlemen bowed stiffly to each other, and looked 
like embodied thunder storms. 

" I have had the honour frequently of meeting Mr. Ferrers 
when we were at college, but I dare say he does not re- 



Sabina. 289 

member one who was but a freshman when he was at the 
conclusion of his career." 

Mr. Ferrers bowed, and said nothing. He had been 
struck with Mr. Tresillian's beauty of person, charm of 
manner, and reputed talent ; but their ways had been dif- 
ferent, and he had heard of him too frequently as leading 
every mad prank amongst the wildest of the Trinity men. 
So he was grieved that Sabina should be on terms of cordi- 
ality with a man of evil reputation, or what was considered 
to be more than folly by the grave set of young men who 
judged him. 

Sabina found it impossible to make any general conver- 
sation between two persons so discordant. She stooped 
and picked up a cowrie shell, and Mr. Ferrers was reminded 
of the myriads of small shells that covered the field of 
Marathon, strings of which are sold for a trifle to the tra- 
vellers by the women and children who collect them. He 
had some he would show Sabina. Mr. Tresillian picked up 
some broken bits of slate, and began to play ducks and 
drakes in the water, and Mr. Ferrers was provoked to see 
that Sabina watched how many times each stone skimmed 
the surface of the water, and showed interest in an amuse- 
ment so trivial. At length he looked at a part of the cliff 
which he considered accessible, and taking off his hat stiffly, 
he bowed to both his companions, and took his leave. He 
might have been consoled had he seen Sabina's white face 
and parted lips as he achieved his perilous enterprise ; but 
he was compelled to keep his face to the cliff in ascending, 
and was too proud to turn when he had reached the sum- 
mit, to see whether Sabina had cared to ascertain his safety. 
Mr. Tresillian finding himself master of the field, or rather 
of the beach, began, like other triumphant animals, to make 
himself disagreeable, and thus to indemnify himself for the 
vexations he had previously suffered. 

" A very pleasant acquaintance you seem to have picked 
up, Miss Rock," he said, with a perceptible sneer in his 
voice. 

" I do not know what you mean by ' picking up.' If you 
think Mr. Ferrers' acquaintance may be ' picked up ' by any 
chance passenger, I should think you must have observed in 
the last few minutes enough to negative the idea. I do not 
either assent to the fitness of the epithet by which you de- 



290 Sabina. 

signate him. Pleasant applies to something soft and agree- 
able. A pleasant evening is made up of sunshine and gentle 
airs ; a pleasant man is benignant, generally plump and 
smooth-faced. Certainly, I never should call Mr. Ferrers 
'pleasant.'" 
"What then?" 
" Sublime ! " 

" Sublime ! ha, ha, ha ! " with a sarcastic laugh. " Good 
Heavens ! I wonder where he got that coat — a coat made 
by Noah's tailor in the ark, I should think." 

Sabina smiled and looked at the fashionable dress of her 
companion — a high rolling velvet collar to his coat, stiff 
neckcloth, and high shirt collar ; a padded chest and pinched 
waist. She thought how careless and unstiffened was the 
dress of Mr. Ferrers ; how low his collars, how uncompressed 
his waist ; his linen was white and spotless, but his dress 
was threadbare and poverty-stricken. Mr. Tresillian did 
not understand the smile, and after a pause he said, 
" Well ? " 

" I was thinking," replied the girl, " that neither dress 
was picturesque — not half so much so as that of a common 
sailor ; but of two ugly dresses, I rather prefer his as having 
least pretension." 

" Indeed ! I congratulate you on your taste." 
" I was also wondering," continued Sabina, rather nettled, 
"what the men thought of his dress when he saved their 
lives at the risk of his own ; what the poor think of the cut 
of his coat when he feeds the hungry and clothes the 
naked." 

" Enough ! " said Mr. Tresillian, in a fury, for, as Horace 
has observed, nothing provokes a lover so much as the laud- 
ation of qualities in his rival which he does not possess. " I 
suppose you love this man, Miss Rock ! " 

" I really am at a loss to know on what grounds you in- 
terrogate me ! " replied Sabina, now thoroughly angry — 
" there is but one person in the world who has a right to do 
so. When he considers it his duty and undertakes it, I 
shall know what to answer." 

Mr. Tresillian was silent. How could he speak of the 
love which was trembling on his lip and boiling over in his 
heart when he had a wife, and could not woo the girl, 
whom he felt that he adored, honourably ? He was con- 



Sabina. 291 

vinced that hers was an intellect which could not be baffled 
by any excuses or hoodwinked by any subterfuges, and that 
if he told her what was the truth — that he doated on her — 
she would refer him to Mr. Rock, if indeed she did not re- 
fuse him at once, from her preference of another. So he 
kicked the pebbles before him like an irritated schoolboy, 
till Sabina suggested quietly that he would cut the tips of 
his delicate boots, and then he left off with a muttered oath, 
not intended for Sabina's ear, but which she heard never- 
theless. 

The sight of Mr. Rock and Mr. Orellan walking in the 
distance softened Sabina's heart towards her companion, and 
smoothed her temper. 

She addressed some observation to him about a horse 
which had been lame, and aided him to recover from the 
perplexity in which the difficulties of his situation had 
thrown him, so that when the old lieutenants came up he 
greeted them so politely, and threw such cordiality into his 
address to Mr. Rock, that Sabina forgave him his exhibition 
of ill-temper, and repaid him for his kindness by such sweet- 
ness of look and manner, as completely turned his head. 

Before he left Saint Eve he obtained Mr. Rock's per- 
mission that Miss Rock should visit Lady Sarah as soon as 
she returned to Deepindale. He tried to hasten Sabina's 
return to the following day ; but Mr. Rock had taken his 
lodgings to next Saturday, and not before that day would he 
consent to move. Sunday they would attend divine service 
at Deepindale, but on Monday Sabina should be ready 
whenever Lady Sarah would kindly send the carriage. Mr, 
Tresillian gnashed his teeth at the thought of the opportunities 
Mr. Ferrers would have before Saturday of pressing his 
suit ; but he had no excuse for staying at Saint Eve except 
as the acknowledged suitor of Sabina, and that, alas ! as the 
husband of another, he could not be. 

Yes — the husband of another, and the future father of an 
infant to be born of his Quakeress, whose situation of coming 
maternity struck him on his return home. At the time when 
Sabina went to Saint Eve, Mabel had made no communica- 
tion to him on the subject. It was the source of grief and 
anxiety to her whether the future infant might be trained to 
heaven, or discarded to perdition. She was too moody to 
show much pleasure in Wilfred's return ; but she was bent 
19 — 2 



292 Sabina. 

on carrying her point that the future infant should be brought 
up according to the doctrines of the Society of Friends. 

It was not in Mr. Tresillian's nature to be otherwise than 
tender in his treatment of his wife under such circumstances. 
He deserved more credit for his forbearance, as he knew 
nothing of the infirmity of intellect which she had evinced 
before her marriage. He set down her ill-health to the 
caprice often shown by women under the like circumstances. 
Whilst, in Mabel's belief, the salvation of himself, herself, 
and their coming infant, depended on the adoption of the 
carriage and habits of the Society of Friends, her husband 
treated her somewhat after the manner in which a kindly 
parent treats a fractious child. Mabel felt it, and was more 
irritated by the careless tenderness of Mr. Tresillian than 
she would have been had he gravely entered into the 
question and argued it with her. 

The point on which she insisted after a conversation 
which, in her earnestness, she forced on his unwilling ears, 
was that her infant, of whichever sex, should be educated as 
one of the Friends, commonly called Quakers. 

Mr. Tresillian hated the controversy ; if he could not give 
his poor Mabel love, he could give that which was more 
constant and continuous, the spurious tenderness which is 
afforded when there is the consciousness that the root of 
love from which its real blossom should spring, is not in the 
heart. He never could be jealous — never could be misera- 
ble lest her love for him should suffer diminution. He could 
even be polite and sweet-tempered, and if she did not 
oppose him openly in his presence by wearing the Quaker 
garb, he cared not to inquire what happened in his absence. 
The thought of a baby heir to his future title, gave him 
additional tenderness towards her who should bear him this 
gift, but the idea of the future Lord Trelusa (for his brother 
was rapidly sinking into the grave), abjuring the title and 
going about in a straight-cut coat and broad-brimmed hat, 
was too much for his gravity, and he exploded in a fit of 
laughter, the impropriety of which he felt himself, whilst the 
levity which gave rise to it deeply shocked his simple-minded 
wife. 

" No, my child," said he, kissing Mabel's hand. " I will 
make this concession : if the infant be a girl, she shall be 
educated in your faith ; if a boy, in mine. Now be reasona- 



Sabi/ia. 2 93 

ble, little woman, and keep your mind easy, and let me 
have a cheerful home when I return to you." 

Mabel could only wish — prayers being contrary to her 
creed, which considers importunity for that which might be 
wrong as sinful — that the infant might prove a girl. 

The clothing of the future infant occupied her neat fingers 
now incessantly; she liked to see Wilfred, but did not 
grieve much during his absence. The regulation of her 
quiet household had attractions for her, and she felt, though 
she could not have expressed it, rather genee by the presence 
of one whom she feared to offend, and knew not how to 
amuse. He salved his conscience for leaving her by the 
present of a magnificent set of baby clothes, forgetting that 
every adjunct of work or lace would be an offence to his 
plain-dressing wife ; but Mabel was probably more amused 
by getting rid of the obnoxious ornaments than she would 
have been had the clothes been originally made for one of 
the Society of Friends. 




















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CHAPTER XXXIII. 



" There is a monarch stern and cold, 

Whose empire with this earth shall last ; 

His subjects are the brave and bold, 
The famous men in ages past ; 

Nor less in present hours — the best 
Seek in his realm their final rest. 

" And Duty is this sovereign's name, 

And, though severe his frozen rule, 
Purest their lives, most free from blame, 

The noble students in his school ; 
And as he swayed with precept true, 

And as they bent to Duty's sway, 
Love with increased obedience grew, 

And easy seemed his rugged way." 

R. FERRERS, when he left Sabina and Mr. 
Tresillian, did so with a tempest in his bosom, to 
which that of the elements which he had braved 
on that night of storms was a calm. He was 
a man of great depth of feeling, and of stern determi 
nation. 

When he was thrown into the society of Sabina, he loved 
for the first time, and fancied he had found a pearl of great 
price, who would enter into all his views, and aid him in 
carrying out all his projects. It is strange that even the 
most virtuous and modest of men never doubt their power 
of winning a girl if she be poor. 

Sabina had stated her uncle's poverty openly, and Mr. 
Rock had said that she depended wholly on him for sup- 
port — ergo she was destitute, and would accept him, he being 
comparatively rich, were he to ask her to be his wife. 

He had to consider the subject gravely. He did not spend 




Sabina. 295 

more than one of his fifteen hundreds a-year on himself, and 
by the expenses of marrying Sabina another hundred at least 
must be deducted from his works of charity — would this be 
right? Whilst he hesitated, Mr. Tresillian came, and he 
saw and imagined enough to disturb all his calculations. He 
left them in a transport of jealousy, which made his bosom 
seem a hell ; it was no longer whether he chose to marry 
Sabina ; she seemed already engaged to a man superior to 
himself in rank, and wealth, and beauty. He would not 
contend. He would never see her again. He would leave 
Saint Eve till Mr. Rock had taken his niece away. He 
knew that Saturday was the limit of their stay. He would 
keep out of the way till then. 

They were to leave on Saturday morning, and on Friday 
Mr. Rock spent some hours as usual with Mr. Orellan. 
Sabina took her lace veil and sat in the abbey drawing-room, 
looking 'Out sometimes on the fitful gleams of sunshine which 
illuminated the dark ivy, and threw chequered lights of 
orange, blue, crimson, and purple through the stained-glass 
on the wall of the quaint old room, sometimes reading 
Franklin's translation of the Greek tragic theatre, which 
seemed to take her into a new and wonderful life, and 
sometimes thinking with awe and admiration of the austere 
master of the house. Old Alice had told her that her 
master was not expected home till Monday, so there was no 
chance of seeing him again, and the girl felt a gentle sorrow 
that this should be the case. 

The windows looked out into a little garden, where the 
last of the autumnal flowers still lingered. Sabina went out 
and picked some buds of the china roses, some lavender, 
and southern-wood, and put them into a glass of water; 
nothing could be more sad than the little attempt at a nose- 
gay, but it would remind Mr. Ferrers that she was grateful 
for his kindness. She placed them on the table, and then 
wrote a note of farewell : — 

<; Dear Mr. Ferrers, 

" I am sorry not to see you again to thank you for 
all your kindness to my uncle and myself. I have so much 
enjoyed your room and your books, and I should have en- 
joyed your conversation also, but that I felt it above me. 
' Such knowledge is too excellent for me ; I cannot attain 



296 \_Sabina. 

unto it.' I fear you have often found me trivial and imper- 
tinent, for which pray pardon me, and believe me to be, 
" Yours sincerely and gratefully, 

" Sabina Rock." 

" My uncle would unite with me in every good wish and 
expression of thanks, but that he is unconscious of my 
writing this note." 

She sealed and left it by the flowers on the table, and 
making a little present to Alice, she bade farewell to the 
Abbey Farm. 




CHAPTER XXXIV. 



" The embrowning of the fruit that tells 
How rich within the soul of sweetness dwells.''- 



-Moore. 



WipalR ROCK and Sabina returned on the following 
)MAl day to Deepindale. On Sunday they attended 
divine service, and their return gave rise to various 
observations amongst the congregation. The 
doctor thought Mr. Rock looked ten years younger. " These 
old fellows who have been accustomed to salt water so long 
that it has become a second nature, always ought to live 
where they can breathe the air impregnated by saline 
particles," said he with an air of profound wisdom. Mrs. 
Cressy thought that " Miss Rock was burnt as black as 
a coal, and was not a bit pretty now," and she looked with 
satisfaction at, 'Melia's skin of cream and roses. The men, 
however, thought Sabina beautiful, though her cheek had a 
tinge of ruddy bronze, which gave a rich glow to her loveli- 
ness. 

On Monday the carriage arrived from Tregear to take 
Miss Rock back, and Mrs. Cressy hearing the sound of its 
wheels, prophesied that no good could come of such high 
visiting, and that Sabina would find herself "in the wrong 
box." 

She, all unconscious of evil prognostication, felt her 
spirits rise at the prospect of seeing Tregear and its inhabit- 
ants again. The days were short, and the weather frequently 
inclement now, and her uncle, when she kissed him, insisted 
on her not returning daily to make his breakfast. 

" You see it vexes Susan, my dear, that you think she 
cannot make my toast, and it is not fair on the people at 



298 Sabina. 

Tregear to make them send you over daily. I shall be very 
busy, and shall not feel the want of you so much till Monday 
next, when you will come to remain, will you not, Sabina ? " 
" I will, my uncle," said Sabina, unconscious of the future. 
She was shown up into Lady Sarah's room on her arrival, 
and found that placid lady surrounded by dresses of the 
past, and dresses for the present. Sabina's taste was 
appealed to, as to whether the sea-green assorted well with 
pale pink, and whether a trimming of brown velvet tulle 
looked well on a clinging white crape. 

The lace veil was inquired after, and found to have been 
repaired to perfection. The lady was really grateful. 
" Hogard and Amber," said she, " would have charged me a 
hundred guineas for it. I never saw anything so wonderful. 
I cannot detect the joins." 

They dined alone, for Mr. Tresillian did not return till 
the evening ; when, with instrumental music and singing, the 
hours sped swiftly away ; but by a thousand acts and looks, 
unnoticed by Lady Sarah, he contrived to evince towards 
Sabina such reverential love, such timid devotion, that the 
girl, who had always felt previously that he had treated her 
as a child, was at first gratified, and then was conscious that 
she loved her dangerous companion in return. Not that 
she saw the danger. How could she ? He had plenty of 
money : he was independent. Lady Sarah seemed to like 
her. She could not mistake the preference she showed 
Sabina. She was the daughter and niece of a gentleman, 
and though she was poor, yet that could not matter to those 
who knew no privation, and to whom the word poverty 
presented no definite idea. 

Each day Mr. Tresillian loved the girl more passionately. 
Had he been free he would have gone to Mr. Rock and de- 
manded the hand of his niece ; but he was no longer free to 
do a chivalrous act, and never having been accustomed to 
refuse himself any gratification, he was determined that 
Sabina, as she could not be his wife, should consent to be 
his mistress. If she loves me, and I swear she does, he 
said, in his thoughts, she will be happier with me, unmarried, 
than married to anyone she does not love, like that fellow 
Ferrers ; but even he did not dare to start such a proposition 
to a girl so high-minded and spirited as Sabina. She would 
reconcile herself to living with me afterwards when she 



Sabinct. 299 

found there was no remedy, he thought. She must be de- 
ceived, or coerced in the first instance. "And that old 
man ? " asked conscience. " Confound him ! I wish he 
were out of the world," said Wilfred Tresillian, leaving the 
question unanswered. 

With all the homage of eye and hand paid by Mr. 
Tresillian to Sabina, she could not help wondering why he 
did not speak of marriage. It was not till the Sunday pre- 
vious to the day on which she was to return to Deepindale, 
that he spoke to her of his perplexities on this subject. It 
was delicate ground to go over, and he did it artfully. He 
dared not suggest any likely opposition on the part of Lady 
Sarah, the placidity of whose temper, and whose evident 
liking for Sabina, would have contradicted such an assump- 
tion. Nor did he venture to say that his family would con- 
sider such an alliance beneath him. At such an idea Sabina 
would have rebelled, and separated herself from him at once ; 
so he spoke of his brother, ill, wilful, yet devotedly attached 
to him, and bent on marrying him to a younger sister of his 
deceased wife. The opposition to his wishes might shorten 
his life, and condemn that of Wilfred to eternal gloom from 
having been the cause of such a misfortune. If Sabina 
would consent to a private marriage, he would avow it so 
soon as he could reconcile his brother to the idea, or as 
soon as his death took from him all reason for secrecy." 

Sabina listened, and believed ; but she suggested that she 
should consult her uncle first on the subject: there could 
be no harm in telling him the truth. 

" Ah ! my darling ! you know your uncle better than I 
do 3 but, judging from his general character, I do not believe 
he would consent to my marrying you in any way except 
with the honours of war — of matrimony I mean, full consent 
of parties, white favours, wedding cake, gloves, and cards." 

" 1 should like the wedding cake myself," said Sabina, 
thoughtfully. " I don't care much for ribbons and gloves." 

"You greedy little thing," said her lover, laughing; "you 
shall have a great cake and eat it all yourself, if you like. 
Now, listen. I will tell you my idea, which is this : — Instead 
of going home on Monday, I will take you to Bodmin, where 
I will marry you by special license, and you shall return 
home on Tuesday for a day or two, and then you shall come 
back here." 



300 Sabina. 

" But I promised my uncle to be home with him on 
Monday, and I would not vex him for the world ; besides, 
I do not fancy such an out-of-the-way kind of marriage. I 
had rather never marry you at all," and she released herself 
from the effort he was making to seat her on his knee. 

They were talking in the library in the dusk of the even- 
ing, Lady Sarah having retired to fit on a new dress from 
Hogard and Amber's. 

" I do not think you love me at all," said Mr. Tresillian. 
" If you did so, you would not object to what would make 
me so happy." 

"I should not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not 
honour more," the girl replied softly. 

" I do not see how honour could be outraged by your 
marrying me." 

" No, of course not," said Sabina, simply. " The honour 
to which I referred, was that of keeping my word to my 
uncle." 

" Then you will do what I wish, Sabina ? " 

" No, I think not. I must deliberate," and Mr. Tresillian 
was satisfied with the promise to reliberate, relying on the 
proverb. 

About fifteen miles from Tregead there was a house near 
the sea, which had been fitted up as a summer residence by 
a friend of Mr. Tresillian's. Now at the beginning of De- 
cember, it was untenanted, excepting by an old woman put 
in to keep it aired. The owner was wealthy, and it con- 
tained all that the most luxurious could require for comfort. 
Mr. Tresillian borrowed the house from his friend for a short 
time, and directed the woman to light fires, and procure 
food and forage for horses. It was to this lonely dwelling 
he intended to convey Sabina, either by her own consent, 
or against it, and delude her by a mock marriage, trusting to 
time to reconcile her to the truth when she should discover 
it. He would have much preferred that she should ac- 
company him with her free consent; but anyway, he was 
determined she should make the journey. 

Sabina fulfilled her promise of thinking the matter over, 
and determined not to marry her lover at the risk of grieving 
her uncle. What would he say if a niece of his should 
marry in such a hole-and-corner fashion. She could fancy 
his mortification. " No, no ; all fair and above board," he 



Sabina. 301 

would exclaim. " No relation of mine shall marry a duke, if 
she has to ring the back-door bell to do it." She had heard 
him express such like sentiments, and in her heart she agreed 
with him. True, she loved Wilfred Tresillian — she loved 
to believe in his devotion to her — she played a thousand 
graceful kitten-like pranks around him when they were alone, 
which made him half distracted ; but she saw no reason why, 
if he loved her as he said he did, he should not either brave 
his brother's displeasure, or wait till it was obviated. 

Poor Sabina believed what she was told, and could not 
know that Lord Trelusa, seldom sober, neither knew nor 
cared whether his Brother Wilfred were alive or dead. 

The Monday on which Sabina intended to return home 
was a day of pouring rain and beating wind. The water 
was driven in liquid sheets against the panes of glass, and 
the sky was overcharged with heavy vapours. Sabina was 
sad and tender in her feelings towards all she was about to 
leave, and made herself particularly agreeable to Lady Sarah, 
that she might be missed, and asked to repeat her visit. 
She did not, however, wish to prolong it now. Her heart 
was with the old man at home, from whom she had 
been for seven days separated, and of whom she had heard 
nothing in the interim. Lady Sarah proposed that she 
should remain till after dinner, and suggested dining half an 
hour earlier, — an immense concession from her ladyship. 

"You will not mind, my dear, going home in a post- 
chaise. Wilfred says one of the carriage horses has a cold, 
so he has ordered a hack chaise from Deepindale. You 
will not mind, will you ? " 

" Oh, no ; certainly not. I'm very grateful to your lady- 
ship for sending me at all," said Sabina, who began to fear 
that difficulties might be thrown in the way of her getting 
home at all on such a stormy night. 

When they were at dinner Lady Sarah said — ■ 

" You don't mind storms, my dear, I suppose, nor your 
uncle either ? " 

" Oh, I suppose my uncle prefers sunshine, as I do 
always ; but my uncle never minds being exposed to in- 
clement weather if any good can be done by it. I never 
knew till several days after the wreck, that he persisted in 
remaining long after the boat was well-laden by the drown- 
ing crew, because he believed there was a cabin-boy some- 



302 Sabina. 

where clinging, or fastened to the wreck. He induced the 
sailor who went out with them to climb up the mast in the 
dim morning light, and cut the ropes which kept the lad up, 
for he was insensible from cold, and he was brought safely 
to the boat; and my uncle," added Sabina in a choked 
voice, " took off his coat and wrapped him in it, that any 
lingering warmth might be preserved." 

A clatter of glasses was heard behind Sabina, and Mr. 
Tresillian looked up and rebuked his servant by a glance 
for his awkwardness. 

" Fetch that box of French sweetmeats," said he to the 
valet, when the dessert was placed on the table ; and they 
were brought and placed before Sabina. 

" Oh, what beauties ! " said the girl, opening the box, and 
taking out imitations of luscious fruits, in the form and 
colour of the originals, and filled with a delicious syrup 
when opened. Sabina pushed the box towards Lady Sarah, 
who declined to take any, as her son had mentally pre- 
dicted. He knew how carefully any compounds of sugar 
were avoided by her ladyship, who guarded her remaining 
teeth with maternal tenderness, which became the greater as 
the number which claimed her care diminished. 

" The box is your own, Miss Rock. Keep the contents 
for your own eating. You are the only person who ap- 
preciates them here. . I, like my mother, have no taste for 
innocent pleasures." 

Sabina took the box to herself, thinking how pleased old 
Susan would be to see them, and that perhaps her uncle 
would like one. And the box ! " What a beautiful box to 
keep Susan's ribbons," thought the girl. 

"Your servant, Wilfred, looks very surly, does he not?" 
said her ladyship, timidly ; for Mr. Tresillian did not admit 
of interference, in a general way, with his part of the 
establishment. 

" Yes, he is surly. If he does not mend his manners, I 
shall dismiss him ; but he is useful in his way, and one can- 
not command willing service always. If one has a good- 
natured fellow he is a fool, and lets one be cheated ; if a 
clever one, he is ill-tempered, and cheats you himself. Of 
the two evils, choose the least; i.e., the clever one." 

They adjourned to the drawing-room, and Sabina sang 
"Angels ever bright and fair" so thrillingly, that tears came 



Sdbina. 303 

into Lady Sarah's bright eyes. Then she sang, with ex- 
quisite tenderness, the plaintive air with which Mrs. Jordan 
beguiled the ears of our great-grandfathers, from the Spoiled 
Child: — 

" Where'er I go, whate'er my lowly state, 
Still grateful memory long shall linger here." 

Then they sang together some trios, which had delighted 
Lady Sarah's youth ; and at length Sabina, with her brown 
eyes filled with tears, returned to the drawing-room cloaked 
and muffled up in a hood, which made her look exceedingly 
pretty, and timidly offered Lady Sarah a kiss, which was 
cordially returned. 

" You must come again soon," said her ladyship, kindly ; 
and Sabina accepted the invitation thankfully. 

" I have some accounts to go through to-night, and shall 
not see you again, my mother, till to-morrow, so I will wish 
you good-night now ; " and he kissed her white soft hand 
gallantly and gaily. 

" What a dreary night ! " exclaimed the young man, as a 
burst of rain and wind opposed their passage from the hall- 
door. " I cannot let you go home alone ; " and handing in 
the girl, he leapt in after her, and desiring his valet to get 
upon the box (which he did not do till he was thoroughly de- 
fended by a many-caped great coat from the pouring rain), 
they started. 

" Poor men ! " said Sabina, " I hope they will not be very 
wet. Luckily, it is not far to Deepindale." 




CHAPTER XXXV 




' Through gray clouds drearily the laggard sun 
Brings the cold dawn of the November day $ 
Wild gusts of wind sweep o'er the landscape dun, 

Whistling shrill music through the branches gray, 
Whose brown leaves, thinly painted 'gainst the sky, 
Quiver awhile in air, then whirl'd in circles lie." 

R. ROCK had enough to do in turning himself 
about in his own domain on his return home. On 
the Wednesday after his arrival, he set to work to 
replace all the articles that had travelled with him, 
in the exact angle which they generally occupied, and to 
look out the clothes that wanted Susan's neat fingers to re- 
pair. Besides, he had to listen to her vituperation of the 
Saint Eve's washerwomen, who had sewn up the holes of his 
socks without drawing them together, as Susan declared a 
Christian washerwoman should ; while she asserted that the 
clothes generally looked as if they had been dipped in pea- 
soup, and should go into the wash-tub before either her 
master or young missus touched one of them. Then came 
the Times paper, and then Mr. Rock went out to have the 
ends cut from his gray hair, which had run riot in his three 
weeks' absence. On Thursday the great object of his 
thoughts arrived from London — the upright grand piano by 
which he was to surprise and delight his darling, ordered 
without reference to price. Why should he not, at the close 
of his long, self-denying life, have the gigantic pleasure of 
giving Sabina this treat ? It had been purchased by the risk 
of life and limb. The harmony of peace had been obtained 
by the discord of war. He thought of the past hours when 



Sabina. 305 

the prize-money so long delayed had been won. He re- 
membered the lugger privateer which he and his brave com- 
panions saw to the north-west, eight or nine leagues from 
Heligoland. He felt in idea once more the parching thirst 
which had dried his mouth, and the weary labour of the 
rowers in overpassing this extreme distance, before the side 
of the lugger could be reached, bristling with weapons and 
armed by determined men. He recalled the struggle up the 
side of the vessel, the hoarse cries, the howl of agony as 
some man fell forward, wounded, on the assailants who 
swarmed up the defended ship. He thought how, as he 
hung by his left arm on the edge of the deck, he saw the 
Frenchman's face close to his, cool and determined, with 
fierce glittering eyes, and his sabre raised to decapitate him, 
and how he drew his pistol from his belt, and put its muzzle 
to that livid countenance and blew it to atoms, whilst he 
mounted safely, and dragging down the enemy's colours, 
shouted " Victory ! " 

That was years ago, and now he had the payment so long 
delayed, and his darling should play on the piano so pur- 
chased, the loved songs of his nautical manhood. She sang 
them well, and loved to hear the old man tell of past times, 
whenever he could be induced to do so. 

Here it was, safe at last within that small room. How 
beautiful it looked, so new and bright ; and then the old 
man unlocked it, and touched one key after another, and 
grieved a little that he could not strike a chord to be able 
to judge of the tone. He had told Mr. Broadwood's 
people that he was no judge, but the piano was for a lady 
that was, and he trusted they would not -take advantage of 
his ignorance, but send him a fme-toned instrument, as he 
trusted himself in their hands ; a trust ever well-placed in 
that firm, for Mr. Rock received as fine a piano as ever had 
left their establishment. 

Now the old one was to be disposed of. He offered to 
restore it to Mrs. Cleverly ; but she found its absence so 
much more agreeable than its presence, that Mr. Rock 
ended by placing it in Sabina's bed-room as a convenient 
sideboard for flowers, work-basket, or small volumes. So 
he arranged his sitting-room and his niece's bed-room, and 
this took him on to the end of Thursday. On Friday he had 
to preach patience to himself. The day dragged wearily. 
20 



306 Sab ina. 

Susan doubted whether her master had really done himself 
any good at Saint Eve ; he seemed so moped now he had 
come back, and yet he had that beautiful music-box to look 
at. She said to herself, "Well, he'll be all right when 
Miss Sabina comes back." 

" On Monday she will come back," he said to himself as 
he awoke, "and this is Saturday; she will come in the 
morning." But Monday morning passed without Sabina's 
arrival to gladden her uncle's heart. " What a stormy day 
it is ; the glass down to ' much rain.' She will be here by 
luncheon-time ; " but, as we know, Sabina was about to dine 
at Tregear. 

" Poor girl ! She cannot come till they let her have the 
carriage," he said, apologetically, to himself. 

The evening closed in. "Surely she will come soon," 
said he, as he sat in the thickly-gathering gloom of the 
winter's twilight. Economy would have prevented his 
ordering his candle had she been at home, and he had 
an additional reason now. He could not bear to shut 
out the remaining light, because it would make it seem 
so very late. 

"Will you have tea, master? — 'tis five o'clock," said 
Susan, after an hour had been spent by Mr. Rock in 
listening for the sound of a distant carriage that came 
not. He could only hear and be irritated by the click of 
the pattens on the pavement, as the saturated umbrellas 
passed the window, concealing the women who carried 
them. 

" It can't be five o'clock yet," he said, hastily, and took 
out his chronometer. " Yes it is, Susan," he added, meekly ; 
" but we'll wait a little longer, perhaps she may be here by 
six o'clock ; " but at six o'clock he drank his cheerless cup 
of tea alone. From that hour till eleven he sat before the 
fire, his dim eyes refusing the effort to read that which could 
not then have chained his attention, and straining his im- 
perfect hearing to receive the most distant sounds. Once a 
carriage was heard approaching, and he started up, and 
Susan, who was listening in the kitchen, ran to the front 
door ; but it bore some one to happier expectants, and the 
old man swallowed down his disappointment as he best 
could. At eleven he gave up the hope of seeing her that 
night. 



Sabina. 307 

" Poor darling ! I dare say they did not like to send 
her out in such a rain. I am sure she would, have come 
if she could ; " but the poor old lieutenant's heart was 
heavy as he went slowly up to bed, and prayed fervently 
for his dear child, and then laid his head on a sleepless 
pillow. It was well for him that he knew not the fate of 
Sabina. 

What helpless rage — what uncontrollable agony — would 
have been his ! 




20 — 2 




CHAPTER XXXVI. 

" He hath profaned the sacred name of friend, 
And worn it into vileness ; 
With how secure a brow and specious form 
He gilds the secret villain ! Sure that face 
Was meant for honesty ! but Heaven mismatched it, 
And furnished treason out with nature's pomp, 
To make its work more easy. 
See, how he sets his countenance for deceit. 
And promises a lie before he speaks." 

FEAV days before the fact I have here narrated 
Mr. Tresillian had intrusted his valet to perform 
some unusual duties, and the latter, after promis- 
ing to fulfil them, reminded his master of his 
promise at some future time to procure him the situation of 
coal meter, with a hundred a-year in cash and allowances of 
coal and candles, besides the greater attraction of receiving 
a bribe from the master of every vessel which came into port, 
for the payment of the owners depended on the number of 
chaldrons measured by the coal meter, and a prompt and 
liberal present to the man in authority greatly diminished the 
numbers accounted for to government. 

Mr. Tresillian did not deny the promise, but said, care- 
lessly, that he had given the metership at Fowey, which his 
valet wanted, to a voter, and he must wait. 

The man had before found waiting an unprofitable oc- 
cupation, and had become morose and discontented in con- 
sequence. 

" I could not let you go home alone, you know, Sabina," 
said the lover gaily. Indeed, there was such a sparkle in his 
eyes, and such a flush in his handsome face, that Sabina 
looked at him with wonder mingled with admiration. " What 



Sal>iiht. 309 

is this in your lap?" he said, for the lamps were blown out 
before they had proceeded many steps. 
" The box of sweetmeats." 

" You are eating them now, you greedy little thing ! How 
many have you taken — four ? Pray don't eat any more ; you 
will be quite ill. Let me have the box," and he let down 
the window and was about to empty the contents of it into 
the road, but Sabina prevented him. 

" Oh, don't ! My pretty box," exclaimed the girl. " Oh 
dear, I'm so giddy," and she laid her head against the side 
of the carriage. "I'm so stupid and sleepy," she scarcely 
articulated. 

Mr. Tresillian put his arm round her and laid her head 
on his breast. How he loved the beautiful helpless creature 
who reposed there. She was his now ; she would be his. 
The sweetmeats were drugged to make her sleep, lest she 
should find out that she was not returning to Deepindale ; 
but the taste had tempted her to eat more than her lover 
had anticipated, and he was somewhat alarmed at the heavi- 
ness of her insensibility. He kissed the half-open mouth, so 
unresisting and unconscious. " Gracious powers ! if I have 
killed her," was the horrid thought that flashed through his 
brain. 

He let down the glass and turned her face toward the 
current of air that blew into the carriage, and felt a slight 
shiver thrill through her frame. He covered her bosom 
with her shawl, and pressed her towards him — his own now 
and for ever ; she could not escape him. How beautiful 
and spirited she was. How she would rave at first ! but she 
loved him — she owned to that. A woman forgives every- 
thing to a man whom she loves. He was not quite easy in 
his mind. It was cowardly to kiss this unresisting semi- 
insensible little creature. He should be glad when he reached 
Carlew and carried her into a lighted room, and dashed 
water in her face, and restored her to consciousness. The 
way led across a lonely heath. Had Sabina recovered she 
would have been helpless, for she would have seen no one 
to whom she could have appealed for assistance. He 
had directed his valet to provide a special license, and a 
man to simulate a clergyman, should Sabina refuse to be 
his on other terms ; but he was really unwilling to have 
recourse to this last deception, lest it should be brought 



3 1 o Sabiiia. 

ip against him unpleasantly in the future. At length the 
:amage drove to the house ; the bell was rung, and the 
servant appeared at the door. 

"The lady is ill," said Mr. Tresillian to the woman. 
' Show the light into the sitting-room," and he lifted Sabina 
n his arms out of the carriage and carried her to a sofa. 
Her head hung on one side, and her eyes were half open. 
He laid her down and called for cold water, and dashed it 
)n her face, and looked with terror at the still wnquiver- 
ng lids. He groaned aloud and knelt by the side of the 
sofa. What would he not have given could he have 
•ecalled the last three hours, and have restored her safely 
o the house of her uncle. 

Medical assistance ? Ah ! there was none nearer than 
wenty miles. With the helpless female servant at his side 
le wrung his hands in his terror, and in the despair of his 
nability to remedy the mischief he had perpetrated. But 
sabina's fine constitution was doing for her more than all 
he doctors of London or Paris combined could have ac- 
:omplished. Her brain began to rally from the stupefying 
:ffects of the drugs she had taken, now that the motion of 
he carriage no longer aided its effects. She sat upon the 
iofa shivering, and wrung the dripping curls from her 
ace. 

" Where am I ? Uncle ! " she cried, in a timid, terrified 
'oice ; then louder, " Uncle ! Susan ! who are you ? " to the 
;trange woman. 

Mr. Tresillian kept behind her lest she should be alarmed 
it his appearance, so guilty was his conscience. She started 
ip and saw him, and looked puzzled, — 

" You here ! Where are we ? Where is Lady Sarah ? 
This is not Tregear ! Take me home, Mr. Tresillian." The 
voiiian left the room. " Why have you brought me here ? " 
—for her brain, recovering from its stupor, became excited 
)y terror — " Tell me, man ! why am I here ? Uncle ! 
incle ! " she cried aloud, and then feeling Mr. Tresillian's 
irms thrown round her, she struck at him madly with all her 
imall strength. 

" Listen, Sabina ! — look ! — I leave you free. You pro- 

nised to marry me ; you will, you must do so. To-morrow 

promise I will take you back to Deepindale if you wish it ; 

)ut this night you must be my wife," and again advanc- 



Sabina. 311 

ing, he flung his arms round her and covered her face and 
her bosom with kisses. 

She disengaged herself, and turned on him with fury — 

"Do you think I love you now? Why! I hate you. 
You have made me deceive my uncle,— you try to make 
me marry you stealthily. I doubt your intended marriage. 
I hate you more than I fear you ! Let me go ? " 

" You cannot escape from me, Sabina. All the people 
here are at my orders ; they know that the clergyman waits 
to make you my wife." He rang, and in answer to the 
female servant said — "Tell Mr. Norris that we are ready for 
the ceremony." 

" This is a dreadful jest," said Sabina, struggling to steady 
her reeling brain ; " but I can come to no harm if I am 
true to myself." She ran to the window, and let down the 
bar of the shutters, and strove to lift the sash. Mr. Tre- 
sillian's arms were round her in an instant to drag her back. 
Irritated and terrified, she screamed aloud, uttering repeated 
and prolonged cries for help. Though her lover had no 
fear that any assistance would reach her, he could not bear 
those agonised shrieks for aid, and strove to stifle them with 
his hand. "Hush! hush! nothing shall harm you, — you 
need not fear me. Surely, you love me, Sabina, and will be 
my wife." 

But Sabina continued to cry out for " Help ! help ! " the 
sound becoming more agonised, as her terrors increased 
from the uselessness of her appeals for aid, when the door of 
the inner-room opened, and a soft voice said— 

" I will give thee help, poor, deceived maiden ! come to 
me ! " And Mabel drew Sabina towards her gently, whilst 
Mr. Tresillian sank down, and covered his face with his hands. 

" Who are you ? " said Sabina. 

" Thou dost not recognise me, friend ! Indeed, I am 
not sure I should have known thee, had not my informant 
given thy name and that of thy uncle. And now, what 
course wilt thou adopt ? I heard enough to know that thou 
desirest not any portion with this sinful and godless outcast 
from grace. The horses, which brought me hither, have 
rested, and, albeit the night is dark and stormy, they can 
convey thee to thy home, and I will send with thee this 
Godfearing woman, who is my attendant, that no further 
evil may befal thee." 



312 Sabina. 

" But you ? I don't know you ? " 

" In the time when God regarded me, my name was Mabel 
Snow. Now, by the wrath of Heaven, I write it Mabel 
Tresillian." 

" You are his wife ? " 

" His legally wedded wife ! " 

Sabina stepped quickly up to the sofa on which Mr. 
Tresillian sat, with his head buried in his hands, and touched 
his arm — 

" Listen to me ! tell me if what this lady says is true, 
or is it a slander ? Are you married to Mabel Snow ? " 

" I am ! " groaned her lover. 

" Oh, Wilfred ! And I have loved you so ! " 

This was Sabina's only reproach. She told Mabel that 
she should like to go as soon as possible, and would prefer 
being alone. She was shivering painfully from the im- 
mersion she had suffered in Mr. Tresillian's efforts to re- 
cover her, and her clothes were wet about the neck and 
shoulders. Mabel made her cloak warm, and wrapped her 
carefully in it ; and herself placed her in the carriage which 
was to convey her to Deepindale. 





CHAPTER XXXVII. 

" Oh, sacred rest ! 
Sweet pleasing sleep, of all the powers the best. 
Oh peace of mind, repairer of decay, 
Whose balms renew the limbs to labours of the day, 
Care shuns thy soft approach, and sullen flies away." 

Dryden. 

[T was nearly four o'clock in the morning when the 
old man, awaking from a painful doze, heard a 
carriage stop at the door of his house. He 
started up, and put on some of his clothes, with 
anticipation of some great misfortune. How his withered 
hands shook in trying to produce sparks from the flint and 
steel ! The dampness of the weather had affected the tin- 
der, and each was extinguished as it fell. 

"Susan! Susan!" he exclaimed in a quavering voice, 
feeling his way to the door of her bed-room. 

Susan awoke, and struck a light at once ; for that wise 
virgin always kept her tinder-box during the night by the 
side of the kitchen fire. 

"Susan! give me a light ! there is some one at the door ' 
Make haste ! " And Mr. Rock descended, an old yellow 
pair of Maltese slippers flapping at his heels, and threaten- 
ing to throw him down, and unbarred the front door, and 
received Sabina, who had, in her eagerness, descended from 
the postchaise, and stood within the shelter of the porch in 
his arms. 

" Oh, uncle ! dearest uncle ! " she cried, in an agitated 
voice, " I'm so glad to get back ! " 

The opening of the door had, by admitting the blast of 
wind, luckily extinguished the candle, so the joy of getting 



314 Sabina. 

his darling home was not damped by the expression of her 
wild and worn countenance. 

" My dear, what made you so late?" 

" Oh, uncle, it was so dark ; and they did not like to 
send out the carriage horses. So they ordered a postchaise, 
and the lamp blew out, and the man lost his way. But 'tis 
all over now, and I hope you have not been uneasy, my 
uncle ? " 

"All right, my dear child. Susan, bring another light! 
mine is gone out. Don't go in there," as Sabina was going 
towards the sitting-room. " Not there to-night, my dear. 
To-morrow morning we will go in together," with a tone of 
joyful importance, which the unhappy Sabina did not un- 
derstand, and was too miserable to care about. 

" I am cold, uncle. I should like to go to bed at once." 
She did not ask for a hot bottle to place at her stone-cold 
feet, because she knew the fire must have been extinguished 
for hours, and she would not give Susan the trouble of re- 
kindling it. She kissed her uncle and embraced him, as if 
she feared to be torn from his arms ; and then took a lighted 
candle, and locked herself into her solitary room, whilst he, 
happy man, retired to bed, and slept in comfort for the 
first time on that night. Sabina felt her head aching fear- 
fully, and her thoughts wandering. Sometimes she started 
up after a short slumber, aroused by the sound of her own 
voice, talking loudly and eagerly. She was going to be ill, 
she knew, for her strong health had mentally and bodily 
suffered severely from the events of the past night. She got 
out of bed, and unlocked her door. If she should be unable 
to get up she must provide against contingencies. She loved 
Mr. Tresillian, but was filled with horror at the deception 
he had attempted to practise upon her, and was distracted 
by the dire necessity of loving without limit one whom her 
judgment pronounced to be unworthy of love. 

"Married! married secretly! married to the Quakeress 
Mabel Snow ! " how utterly incredible it seemed ! Her 
head whirled round. What if she had been ill from the 
time she had entered the postchaise, when so deadly a sleep 
had fallen upon her, and all that had passed subsequently 
had been delirium. In that case she must be very ill in- 
deed — better thus. She tried to argue with her aching 
head. " Better that I should be mad than that he should 



Sabina. 3 1 5 

be so wicked. And that was Mabel Snow, was it ? " she 
went on wandering. " Mabel S — now ! " and she drowsed 
off into temporary slumber, only to start up, screaming for 
her uncle and Susan — " Help ! help ! " They did not hear 
her at first, for they slept the heavy sleep which follows 
release from anxiety. " The dark hours would never go," 
Sabina thought ; and yet there were but four to pass before 
the dim twilight of a wintry day might dawn. Susan found 
Sabina, when she came down stairs at half-past seven to light 
the kitchen fire, standing in the scullery trying to pump some 
water to drink, that in her room not being fresh or cold 
enough to tempt her to slake her burning thirst with it. 

Susan led her back to bed, and in doing so touched her 
feverish hand, and heard her unnatural tone in speaking ; 
and, when she had covered her up, she went to her master's 
room, and told him that Miss Sabina seemed very ill indeed, 
and should she go to fetch Mr. Dent ? 

Mr. Rock's heart sank within him. He had slept so 
happily in the conviction that his child was safe under his 
roof, and the Almighty had rebuked his confidence by 
sending this visitation on him. 

He hurried on his clothes, and went softly to Sabina's 
bedside. Her face was crimson, and her arms tossing about 
wildly. She did not seem to see him, but looked beyond 
him, as if to see if anyone were following him into the room. 
He spoke, but she only muttered unintelligibly in reply, and 
with a swelling heart the old man hurried to the house of 
Mr. Dent, and entreated him to come at once to see Miss 
Rock. 

As the clothes she had taken off were reported by Susan 
to be drenched with rain (as she supposed), Mr. Rock 
imagined that she had exposed herself to it, when she got 
out of the postchaise before the door was opened on the 
previous night. 

"A violent cold and feverish attack," Mr. Dent sagely 
determined the illness to be, on these data, and sent in his 
draught to be taken every four hours, &c, &c, which did 
only the good of amusing poor Mr. Rock, who seemed to 
believe that Sabina's life depended on her swallowing diluted 
spirits of camphor and water at the exact moment prescribed 
by the apothecary, 
'in the course of the day Sabina's luggage arrived from 



3 1 6 Sabina. 

Tregear, with a note from Lady Sarah to Sabina, saying 
that Mr. Tresillian had told her that the servants had for- 
gotten to put it into the carriage. She wished to know how 
Sabina had reached home on so inclement a night. 

The old lieutenant answered it, with too much grief in 
his heart to care for the manner of his communication. 
Had he, in fair weather, been required to write to an earl's 
daughter, how he would have hunted for a sheet of the finest 
cream-laid paper, and tried to mend a pen to his liking, and 
have begun with a flourish at the top, and a broad space 
left on the margin, as if he were going to address the Board 
of Admiralty. 

Now his anxiety made him careless even of a round blot, 
that fell on the paper from the pen quivering between his 
shaky fingers. He said simply, with many thanks to her 
ladyship, that his niece was very ill, out of her senses in 
fact, from cold and fever. If she ever recovered (for the 
old man was inclined to despair, and wanted Lady Sarah to 
suffer a little also), she should have Lady Sarah's note de- 
livered to her. 

Lady Sarah was as sorry as a lady of very placid tem- 
perament could be, and sent daily to enquire after her ■ and 
every day the answer was, "much the same," or " no better, 
many thanks to her ladyship." 

When Sabina's carriage-wheels were heard driving off, 
Mr. Tresillian felt his misery was unsurpassable. His 
shame, his humiliation in the presence of a wife whom, un- 
justly enough, he despised, was nothing compared to the 
loss of the girl on whom he doated. She was gone— gone 
from him in anger. He longed to throw himself at her feet, 
and beg pardon for the outrage he had been foiled in — to 
cry aloud for her pity and forgiveness. He hated his wife, 
whom he knew to be standing there looking at him with the 
magisterial face, given by the sense of being in the right in 
the opinion of everyone. 

Mabel might have been contented with a quiet triumph, but 
she was not. The injudicious young wife wished to improve 
the occasion, and after a short pause thus addressed him — 

" Dost thou not think thou makest a contemptible figure, 
even in thine own eyes, Wilfred Tresillian ? Thou hast been 
detected in perpetrating a cruel fraud, by which thou in- 
tendedst to commit a wicked act of adultery. I might have 



Sabina. 3 1 7 

known, unhappy man ! what to expect when thou refusedst 
to dress thyself as a Friend, and walk in the quiet paths of 
the children of peace. Now I will leave thee to work out 
thy iniquities with greediness, and separate myself from thee 
for ever in this world. Perhaps some light may be vouch- 
safed to thee which may guide thee to eternal happiness in 
the next. In this my soul disdains to consort with thine , 
and in future we must be separated in body, as alas, I have 
felt we have been in mind for many months past." 

" Just as you please, Mabel," said her husband, starting 
up ; " I shall not trouble you with my company in future. 
I never loved you. I married you only from a feeling of 
weak pity, because I knew that you were compromised in 
the sight of the world by your own imprudence and the ad- 
vantage I had taken of it. I have been sufficiently punished 
by finding a girl, for whose sake I would peril body and 
soul, and think them well lost if she were won." 

" Thou meanest that poor child, Sabina Rock, who was 
received by my family in charity," said Mabel, who was 
irritated by the influence she heard attributed to one whom 
she had thought below her. 

" Yes ; I love Sabina Rock as I never loved before, and 
shall never love again," said Wilfred, who felt pleasure in 
trying to inflict misery on another when he himself felt so 
much. Seemingly he had succeeded, for Mabel's self-com- 
mand gave Avay, and she said, softly — 

" If it might please God, I should like to die." She 
turned away and retired to her bed-room, and Mr. Tresillian 
sat by the fire in the sitting-room with a thousand wild 
images chasing each other through his brain.. Sabina re- 
turned home alone in the carriage, with wet clothes, and 
scarcely recovered from the injury to her brain from those 
cruel sweetmeats ; angry with him, struggling, striking him 
with all the power of her weak hands, and injuring him 
about as much as an infant hurts his nurse ; Sabina saying 
only, when convinced of his perfidy — " Oh, Wilfred, and I 
have loved you so ! " 

All these succeeded each other in his troubled memory, 
but there was inexpressible sweetness in the last. She had 
loved him ; she must love him still. The thought of her 
leaning on his breast, though she was unconscious, gave him 
uncontrollable pleasure. 



3*8 Sabina. 

His wife — he almost hated her for being a barrier between 
him and his wishes. He would send her back to the villa 
on the Thames, and, returning to Tregear, would try to 
obtain Sabina's forgiveness of the past, and get matters 
back to their old standing. He felt assured she would not 
complain to her uncle ; she loved hinT — she loved her 
uncle. She must know that such an attempt, if known, 
must lead to a duel with an old man of Mr. Rock's nice 
sense of honour. She was a sensible girl, and would be 
sure not to mention it. He must wait there till morning, 
he supposed ; so he arranged the sofa before the fire, which 
he made up, and stretched out in its warmth ; he sometimes 
listened to the wind, which roared round the desolate house, 
or the sheets of water that were dashed against the windows. 

He had just fallen into a sound sleep, in which he 
dreamed that he saw Sabina leaning her head on the 
breast of Mr. Ferrers, as she had in reality rested on his, 
when a slight noise awakened him, and he saw his wife's 
maid standing by the sofa. The lady was taken in the 
pangs of premature labour, and medical aid must be pro- 
cured. Mr. Tresillian started up, and, glad to do some 
kindness to her whom he could not love, he had one of 
the carriage-horses saddled, and rode to the next town for 
assistance. He returned to Carlew with the doctor, and 
after some hours of anxiety, Mabel presented her husband 
with a son and heir. 

"Not a boy? — not a boy?" said the poor mother, eagerly. 

" Yes, Ma'am, a fine boy ; " and Mabel hid her face on the 
pillow and wept. 

When Mr. Tresillian refused the metership to his valet 
he disappointed two persons — his own servant and his 
wife's maid, whom his valet was engaged to marry. The 
man was entirely in his confidence, and had by his master's 
desire arranged everything for the reception of Sabina at 
Carlew, and provided a man in the dress of an ecclesiastic to 
perform the marriage, should Miss Rock insist on that cere- 
mony ; but his attachment to Mabel's maid had made the 
occupation repugnant to him. He declared 'twas a sin and 
a shame to take in the poor young lady in such a manner, 
and any lingering of fidelity towards his master would have 
melted before a reason less cogent than that which we are 



Sab ina. 319 

about to relate. When he had been a very young man he 
made himself a father without the tie of matrimony. The 
mother had died in child-birth without avowing the name of 
her companion in guilt, and the infant had been brought up 
by the parish. When the boy had been old enough to be re- 
moved from the burthen on the ratepayers, he had been sent 
to sea. The valet had never lost sight of the child, and 
without embarrassing himself about his support, he sent 
him occasional presents of clothes and money, and loved 
him the more for every added benefit he bestowed, as is the 
nature of human creatures. It was this boy who had been 
rescued with others of the crew from the wreck by the in- 
strumentality of Mr. Rock and his companions, and every 
latent instinct of good revolted from his permitting the old 
man's child to be sacrificed, when he had hazarded his life to 
save that of his own son. The circumstance of Mr. Rock's 
taking off his own coat to protect the boy from the cold be- 
came known to him only by Sabina's narrative as he waited 
at table at Tregear, and occasioned his clatter with the 
wine-glasses, which awakened the wrath of his master. It 
could not alter anything then, for his arrangements had 
been made by agreement with Mabel's maid, and Mabel's 
journey to Car lew had been decided on between the valet 
and the attendants. The mistress was plastic in the hands 
of the stronger-minded woman, and acted by her suggestion 
and advice. 

Mabel had been urged herself to appear on the scene, in 
order to deter Sabina from a mock marriage by proving her 
own prior right, and to strive, as she imagined, to lead her 
husband in the right path, by pointing out to him the 
enormity of his conduct. She had expected to find him 
overwhelmed by contrition, and ready to fall at her feet and 
implore for pardon — a pardon, which she would after a 
while grant, when, as a mark of a changed heart, he should 
abandon all his old associates and his fashionable attire, 
and join the society, and wear the garb of those Friends 
called by the world Quakers. When she proposed to sepa- 
rate from him, she did it in the hope of being contradicted ; 
but she had failed in every effort to awaken his conscience, 
and had forced from his irritated mind only the outpourings 
of his love for another woman. Her wish to reclaim her 
husband was not a single desire ; by it hung another even 



320 Sabina. 

more intense — the salvation of her infant, should it prove a 
boy. The number of strict Friends has greatly diminished 
within the last sixty years, and those who now hold the 
tenets of that sect have greatly modified the extreme views 
held by the founders of the society, and by their early and 
more enthusiastic followers. Now, salvation would probably 
be considered, by the Society of Friends, attainable by a 
man in a fashionably-cut coat ; but to Mabel's bounded in- 
tellect, it seemed that there could be no inward purity with- 
out such outward arid visible signs as could be found in drab 
cloth and a broad-brimmed hat. 

Her experience of fashionable life had not been a happy 
one. The half-dressed women and intoxicated men who 
were, as she afterwards found, friends of her husband, re- 
volted her taste and terrified her mind, alienating her from 
Wilfred, who could associate with persons she considered so 
licentious. 

She had made a mistake in her marriage. She had com- 
mitted a sin in uniting herself to Wilfred Tresillian without 
the consent of her parents ; but of what a gigantic crime 
should she not be guilty if she permitted her offspring to be 
reared in such iniquity. Had it been a girl, the child might 
not have perished utterly; but it was a boy, and the mother's 
anguish was intense. 

Her love for her husband faded from her heart, in the 
deeper feeling which pervaded it for the infant. He was 
there lying on her arm, his small lips sucking nourishment 
from her bosom. How tenderly she smoothed that silky 
hair which only covered the back of the round head, with 
its glossy brown, cobweb texture. The small finger clasped 
her own, so that the mother's gentle hand could not' remove 
it till the infant's relaxed in sleep ; but was this goodly 
creature she had brought into the world to be an outcast 
from the face of the Almighty — to be plunged into everlast- 
ing perdition if he grew up and followed the footsteps of his 
father ? " Ah ! better he should die ! better a thousand times 
he should die in his infancy!" and at the thought the mother 
covered his infant head with tears. 

This contest between the natural instinct of maternal 
tenderness, and the convictions of a morbid and distem- 
pered mind, was too much for the feeble intellect of Mabel 
to sustain. The idea that she ought to sacrifice her child's 



Sabina. 321 

life to secure his immortal happiness pursued her unceas- 
ingly. An internal injunction seemed to command the 
destruction of the infant. She wrestled against the thought ; 
it pursued her night and day. She wished for the boy's 
death without the agency of her own cruel fingers. If she 
slept, she hoped when she awoke to find him cold and 
breathless. At other times she almost crushed him to 
her bosom, with eyes brimming over with tender tears; 
her very love was an instrument to urge her to his de- 
struction. 

Mr. Tresillian was proud of the infant, as young fathers, 
unworried by money cares, often are proud. 

He saw in the small features and rounded limbs a future 
likeness to himself. The boy would be Lord Trelusa. His 
brother could not live many weeks. He did not care 
whether Mabel lived or died, and he dared not ask himself 
whether he wished her out of the way of his forming a 
dearer tie ; but the boy he felt disposed to love. He rode 
over daily to see his little son, and to observe how well he 
throve in that bleak, deserted house. He must acknow- 
ledge his marriage now ; he must think about breaking it to 
his mother. Lady Sarah would have been more resigned 
had it been Sabina, he thought, and he grieved to remember 
that there would be no mutual liking between the mother-in- 
law and daughter. 

Mabel seldom noticed her husband, excepting by a look 
of dislike, when he entered her room. He did so, because 
the infant was always there ; and as his visit was to his 
little son, he would not leave the house till it was accom- 
plished. 

One day both mother and child were asleep on his 
arrival, and he stole in softly and sat down, concealed by 
the curtain of the bed, till they should awake. Opposite to 
the foot of the bed was the toilette table, and as the curtains 
were put back, the father could see what passed within their 
folds. He had taken a paper in his hand, and had begun 
to read, when he looked up, hearing a slight movement. 
Mabel was leaning over the boy on her left arm ; the fingers 
of the right hand were grasping the infant's slender throat, 
and the noise heard by the miserable father was the choking 
gurgle made by the gasping victim. In an instant he was 
kneeling on the bed, and had unclasped the cruel hand; 



323 Sabina. 

but the boy was black, and gave tokens of life only in con- 
vulsive struggles. Mr. Tresillian ran down with him in his 
arms to the kitchen, calling for hot water. 

" A fit — a convulsive fit ! Haste, haste ! he may yet be 
saved ! " And at length Wilfred was relieved by seeing the 
respiration return to the heaving breast, and a more natural 
colour to the livid face. 

Yes, it was, he said, a fit ; but he was determined that the 
child should not be exposed to a recurrence of such a 
seizure, and he took the infant himself away in his carriage, 
and deposited him in the care of a cottager who had a 
young infant of her own, and on whose nutriment for the 
babe he could confide. Not till the child was in safety did 
he think of the mother. She was mad, evidently, and the 
hands that had been raised to murder her infant, might de- 
stroy her own life. He returned, and desired her maid to 
obtain additional nurses, that her mistress might never be 
left ; saying that suckling her child had weakened her so 
much as to endanger her health, consequently he had re- 
moved it. He said nothing of the true cause of the act, and 
the maid thought he was a brute, as he ever had been to 
her mistress, to take the infant from her. The loss, though 
inevitable under the circumstances, was disastrous in its 
effect on Mabel's senses. She became ungovernable in her 
actions, and requiring restraint ; the medical attendant be- 
lieved her to be suffering from a delirium which would pass 
away when a few days had elasped, and deprecated the ab- 
sence of the infant, to whose sudden separation from the 
bosom of the mother he attributed the violence of the symp- 
toms. Mr. Tresillian bore the reproach, and said nothing. 
His mind was racked by ceaseless anxiety about Sabina, of 
whose health he heard daily, and never any improved ac- 
count. He had sent her a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and 
old Susan, thinking to please her poor young mistress, 
had placed them in her room in a large blue jug, on Mrs. 
Cleverly's piano. Sabina saw them when she first awoke 
from her sleep, and her intellects were clear. She saw the 
flowers she most preferred clustered together by some skilful 
hand. 

" The gentleman from Tregear brought those, Miss," said 
Susan. " Aint they beauties ? " 

" Take them away, Susan ; they make my head ache, the 



Sabina. 323 

perfume is so overpowering, and the colours are too bright 
for my eyes. Take them away at once." 

And Susan pitied her young mistress for being so fanciful, 
and carried away the disgraced flowers to Mr. Rock's sitting- 
room, where Mr. Tresillian saw them next day when he 
called with a self-invented message from his mother] and 
hearing Mr. Rock's statement that his niece had said the 
perfume was too overpowering, he understood that his gift 
was rejected by Sabina. 

The poor girl was haunted by the dread that her uncle 
should find out the fact of Mr. Tresillian's outrage, and 
should demand satisfaction in the way then common for less 
injuries than those Sabina had sustained. It seemed un- 
likely that such a fact could be concealed, and whenever 
Mr. Rock was out of her sight or her hearing, she grew 
nervous and partly delirious. So the old man, with tears of 
tenderness in his eyes, gave himself up to sit idly by her 
bed, whilst she slept with her hand clasping his — a sleep so 
light and unrefreshing that she started up when he made the 
slightest effort to release it. 

The townspeople hearing from Mr. Dent that Sabina was 
likely to die, forgot their jealousy of a person no longer 
likely to excite any, and felt concern and pity for one 
passing away so young. So the butcher sent her a present 
of a nice fresh sweetbread, because he thought "the poor 
young thing might fancy a bit, if it was well cooked ; not 
that he supposed that old woman they called Susan could 
do much. Why, they didn't buy a joint more than once a 
fortnight ! So she could have no practice. His missus 
should have dressed it with pleasure, only he was afraid 
of offending the old gentleman." 

The lawyer, Mr. Grinde, who was a sportsman, sent a 
couple of wild ducks to Miss Sabina, and Mrs. Cressy a 
basket of beautiful apples, just such as the young lady liked, 
she knew ; and, as it was near Christmas now, " apples were 
apples," a speech which Sabina had often heard without 
understanding, as she knew not how they could very well be 
anything else at any period of the year after the blossoms 
had fallen from the young stems. 

One day, sad at heart and weary, Sabina lay still and 
contemplated Mrs. Cleverly's piano against the wall at the 
foot of her bed. 
21 — 2 



Sabina. 



" Why did you bring the piano up here, uncle ? " she 
said. " Were you tired of it ? " 

Mr. Rock cleared his throat. 

" Ahem, my dear, yes. I thought it would be a little 
treat, you know, to you to have it in your own room." 

"Very kind of you, uncle," Sabina replied, languidly, and 
closed her eyes again ; but she was a shade better, her 
uncle thought, or she would not have observed it, and the 
old lieutenant was comforted. 



CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

" But now the fulness of its failure makes 
My spirit fearless ; and despair grows bold, 
My brow beneath its sad self-sorrow aches." 

Owen Meredith. 




ilHEN the fever incidental to Mabel's state had sub- 
sided, the violence of her mania abated ; but the 
prevailing idea still existed in her mind — a love of 
her infant, and a determination to show that love, 
by destroying his life before sin could deform the blossom 
which she hoped would in its innocence bloom eternally in 
heaven. If he lived, she saw in him a reduplication of his 
father, — careless, unscrupulous, and sinful. The last act of 
Wilfred's life, with which she had become cognizant, had 
filled her with the greatest horror of his conduct, and terror 
lest his disposition should live again in her child. 

Her attendants were kind and attentive, and Mabel knew 
that if she were to escape, it must be by the simulation of 
the greatest composure. With the wonderful sagacity ex- 
hibited by the insane, she became outwardly placid in her 
manner, and grew quietly cheerful. She was no longer dis- 
turbed by visits from her husband, who was not attracted to 
the house now that his infant was no longer there, and who 
was satisfied by hearing from time to time that Mrs. Tresillian 
was progressing favourably, without a personal interview. 
Indeed, as the father became more and more wrapped up in 
his infant, his feelings towards Mabel became intensified 
from indifference to hatred. He knew this to be unjust, but 
memory ever presented to him her face, usually so statuesque 
and placid, with a look of stern determination, which 
seemed foreign to her character, bending over the infant 



3 2 6 Sabina. 

with a cruel glitter in her blue eyes, and her white, soft hand 
grasping the little helpless throat. He rode daily to the 
cottage of the woman in whose care he had placed the child, 
and dismounted to impress a kiss on the little unconscious 
brow. His mother's hatred had endeared that helpless 
morsel to the father, whose fortunate interference had 
saved his life, and who had thereby obtained additional 
claims on his love. 

Mabel was resolved to escape — to escape and find her 
infant, and finish the work she had begun. When she had 
arrived at Carlew she had money, and this she now remem- 
bered. Mr. Tresillian, on suspicion of his valet's treachery, 
had dismissed him, and he had married Mabel's maid, who 
had consequently left her mistress ; but Mabel seemed to 
have transferred her preference to one of the nurses hired to 
attend her, and nothing was thought of the departure of her 
favourite servant. 

The nurse slept in the room next to Mabel's and usually 
retired to rest at ten o'clock. 

The weather was inclement, and the snow on the ground. 
One morning Mabel saw a boy occupied in sweeping a path 
from the entrance to the garden gate. She wrote a note, 
ordering from the next town a postchaise, to be in the 
stable-yard at eleven o'clock the following night, and gave 
the boy a shilling to post it. 

The nurse liked bottled ale much, but hot brandy-and- 
water more. Mabel had often vexed her by her refusal to 
accept the tempting stimulant, the partaking of which would 
have given an excuse for the nurse's indulgence in the same 
beverage. 

After supper was concluded on the following night, and a 
tumbler and a half of strong ale had been imbibed, Mabel 
expressed a desire to taste brandy-and-water hot with sugar, 
which the nurse had often assured her would " get up her 
strength nice." 

" Make it strong, nurse, or I shall not fancy it," she 
said. 

And the nurse made it according to her own notions of 
strength, which were liberal. 

" Ah ! what nasty stuff ! It takes away my breath ! " said 
the young Quaker lady. " 'Tis a pity to waste it. You had 
better drink it yourself, nurse." The nurse drank it, and 



Sabina. 327 

was glad when her mistress had hurried to bed, and she had 
liberty to follow her example. 

Mabel waited till she heard a prolonged succession of 
snores in the ante-room, and then she listened till she be- 
came aware, from distant sounds, that the postchaise she had 
ordered was approaching the stable-yard. With trembling 
hands she opened the wardrobe which contained her bonnet 
and shawl, and with some of her money carefully hidden in 
her bosom, and the rest more accessibly placed in her 
pocket, she undid one of the drawing-room windows, and 
stepping out on the lawn she went to meet the carriage, and 
had entered it, with a bundle of linen she had collected for 
her flight, before she remembered that she knew not where 
the infant she sought had been deposited. 

She had, however, no power of seeking him whilst she 
remained at Carlew watched by her attendants. She deter- 
mined, therefore, to drive to a little village called Calcuik, 
about a mile and a half from the town of Trevedra, where 
she might remain quietly, and consider what course to adopt 
in the future. She felt convinced that the nurse would not 
discover her absence for twelve hours, and that, when dis- 
covered, she would do nothing without consulting Mr. 
Tresillian, which could not take place till he called at Car- 
lew, as he had left no address for letters to be sent after him. 
Thus Mabel counted on some considerable time for 
the carrying out her plans, and was not mistaken. She 
arrived at the small public-house, which was the only 
home she could claim for the present, and dismissed the 
chaise. It was lonely enough, but she begged to remain in 
the bed-room, because there was only one public room for 
all the guests, those being the miners and labourers of the 
neighbourhood. She had often looked idly on this small 
dwelling as the waggon had passed it, whilst conveying her 
family and herself to the Friends' meeting on first day. She 
remembered them all — her rosy sisters, her grave mother, 
her sweet-tempered, placid father. She longed to see them 
once again. There was no truth, no godliness out of the 
pale of the Society of Friends. Their tranquillity, their 
sobriety, their truthfulness in word and deed, all impressed 
her memory, and melted her heart towards her own family. 
It was very sad to be within a mile and a half, and not to be 
with them. She was very dull in that hot, close, small- 



328 Sab in a. 

windowed room, and Mabel, whose ideas of cleanliness were, 
like those of all Friends, exceedingly nice, was shocked by 
the sight and the odour of all the house. In going to Mr. 
Tresillian she had exchanged from comfort to luxury — now, 
she felt as if she had sunk into squalid poverty. In her 
variable mind the thought of her husband, and the idea 
of violence to her infant faded away, and an unspeakable 
longing to see her family took possession of her. 

She would wait till evening— evening came now at four 
o'clock, when daylight faded from the gray snow-containing 
clouds ; snow was on the ground, too, and there would be 
few travellers abroad. She went out at that hour, and 
walked to the town of Trevedra. How familiar all the 
houses looked, and the names over the shop-doors. Those 
queer Cornish names, in comparison to which those of 
other counties seem common and vulgar. Few folks were 
moving about on that dreary winter's afternoon. She walked 
down Crypt Street, and looked at the market garden, over 
which, when a child, she used to spell the announcement 
that Lucerne was for sale there, and remembered her un- 
satisfied wonder that Mr. Polperrok, the market gardener, 
should be empowered to sell a Swiss canton, of the existence 
of which she had just learnt in the Abbe Gautier's geography. 
Like many children, Mabel remained ignorant from being 
too timid to ask for information. She crosses the bridge 
and sees old Betty, the waterwoman — waterman she might 
almost have been called in her masculine hat, light nankeen 
jacket and petticoat, 'and hoarse voice. Her face is wrinkled, 
like one of the old women painted by Myeris, and looking 
at Mabel she recognised her, and her wicked old blue eyes 
twinkled ; for she laughed internally to think how often she 
had rowed Luke Snow and ladies of loose life and conversa- 
tion, down to the woods of Polperro to spend summer-days. 
The weather was against such freaks now, but a debauch 
at a small public-house down the river was less known and 
less talked about than it would have been in the town 
itself. 

Merry parties went out on that tidal river, and the old 
woods re-echoed with the glee — 

" A boat, a boat unto the fern', 
And we'll go over and be merry, 
To laugh and quaff and drink old sherry." 



Sabitur. 329 

Old Betty knew the air quite well, and often rose from 
her bed and pushed off her boat, on hearing the summons 
to convey the revellers to and from the romantic shore. 

Mabel hastened on, passed the beautiful church by the 
old Church Lane, through another street, passed some poor 
habitations, till she -got to the leat. She crossed the bridge, 
slippery and unsafe from frost and snow, and saw the mill- 
wheel, a beautiful incrustation of icicles. She was intensely 
cold — every sight was cold. She was near her father's 
garden now — she wondered if the garden-gate was locked. 
She stood behind a buttress of the wall where she had con- 
cealed herself on the night when she first saw Tresillian. 
Presently she heard a wheel scraping over the hard gravel, 
the door opened, and the gardener wheeled out a barrowful 
of stones and rubbish, to deposit it on the opposite side of 
the road. Whilst he was intent on tilting it, Mabel entered 
the door, and concealed herself under the snowladen ever- 
greens, whilst the man unsuspiciously passed her, and re- 
locked the gate. 

The Snow family had not been prosperous in Mabel's 
absence. It was true that their wealth was increasing rather 
than diminished, but they had been "tried," Mrs. Snow 
said. Every small ruffle on the surface of her life was a 
" trial," sent with the purpose of adding to the lustre of her 
virtue. 

Mabel's conduct was a bitter grief both to her maternal 
love and her feelings, as regarded her position amongst 
Friends. She had taken a high hand in all their meetings, 
had promulgated severe codes of discipline, and was sup- 
posed to have brought up a model family on model principles. 

About Mabel's defection as little was said by them as pos- 
sible. It was a tender subject, and avoided at all the meet- 
ings, monthly and quarterly. Mrs. Snow felt the silence like 
a dead weight on her heart. 

Before their return home, and after Mabel had left them, 
their house had been broken into, and much that was valu- 
able in linen and plate had been abstracted. It was against 
the principles of the Friends to prosecute, and the loss was 
submitted to. But other burglaries were committed where 
the sufferers were not so quiescent, and the thieves were put 
into prison. Before their trial Polly Best, in order to screen 
one for whom she had a peculiar regard, declared who were 



33° Sab i/ia. 

the persons whom she had, by her information, enabled to 
enter Mr. Snow's house ; and, utterly careless of Luke Snow's 
feelings, told how frequently she had been admitted by night 
into that hitherto stainless household, and in what manner 
she had managed to undo the fastenings when her entertainer 
was sleeping off his debauchery. 

Mr. and Mrs. Snow heard, and were crushed by the 
double disgrace. Luke was sent to a friend's house in a 
distant county to board, which it was imagined would cut off 
his connection from the dissolute men and women who had 
led him away. Having been sensual and selfish in one lo- 
cality, they hoped he would be pure and well-conducted in 
another. A pitiable delusion ! neither men nor women, young 
or old, are "led away except by the disposition to sin in 
their own natures." Those naturally wicked may speed the 
downward tendency by associating with the depraved, but 
no good man, woman, youth, or maiden was ever " led away " 
into sin. There must be the fuel before the fire can be 
lighted, and evil sparks expire on snow. 

However depressed were the father and mother, they al- 
lowed but little to be seen in their outward appearance. 

The dinner had been removed, and the couple sat by the 
fire in the winter twilight ; the simple dessert of apples and 
nuts in their china dishes were reflected in the highly polished 
mahogany dining-table. It was too dark for work, too light 
for candles ; so they sat and gazed into the fire, in which the 
neAvly introduced cannel coal made a sudden and fitful blaze, 
whilst the little Quaker girls were trimly peeling the single 
apple allotted to each, with a silver pocket knife, with which 
every child was provided, lest damage should accrue to small 
fingers by the use of steel ones. 

To the outside of the window of this room Mabel crept, 
and, placing her face against the glass, she shivered and 
looked in. The home she had left had an air of comfort and 
tranquillity, which she had never valued so much before. We 
all have felt a sensation, almost of envy, in passing the 
warmly curtained and brilliantly lighted home of a stranger, 
when hurrying sad and weary to our own, which we feel will 
be dull, dark, and cheerless, and probably without the ad- 
juncts of wealth, and the attendance of servants, to render it 
alluring on our return. 

How much more attractive was this tranquil dwelling to 



Sabina. 331 

poor Mabel, who had been so tempest-tossed and shipwrecked 
since she had quitted its sterling shelter. She leaned her 
head against the pane of glass and wept. The flame of the 
cannel coal leaped up, her face, white and sad, and the tears 
that covered her cheeks, were illuminated by the flash, and 
the youngest girl who saw it all, sitting opposite the window, 
cried, with a voice which seemed to the parents, always be- 
lieving in divine inspiration, to be supernatural — 

" Sister Mabel is crying ! " 

Mabel had caught the expression of intelligence in the 
face of her little sister, and had removed herself into the 
shadow before the awe, which had fallen both on the father 
and mother, had subsided, and they had turned to inquire 
what was meant. 

" There ! but there ! " said the child ; and Mr. Snow left 
the room, and went tremblingly along the passage, and 
opened the door into the garden. 

He saw nothing, and called, " Mabel ! " in a voice almost 
inaudible from agitation. There was no response, and the 
cry was repeated with an expression of mingled anguish and 
hope still more intense. Then a rustle in the bushes, and 
Mabel threw herself into her father's arms, weeping herself, 
and bathed by his tears also. 

" My daughter ! my Mabel ! she was dead and is alive 
again ! she was lost and is found ! " 

They brought her to the fire, and chafed her numbed fingers, 
and warmed her frozen feet. All anger had left their hearts 
when they had heard from Miss Den of the wandering of her 
intellect, which accounted for so much in her conduct other- 
wise incomprehensible. They were above measure touched 
by seeing that she still retained the garb of her sect, though 
the materials were new and of richer texture than she had 
worn when she left home' proving that they had been thus 
fashioned to please her, and not worn because she had none 
other wherewith to dress herself. 

They were weary of questioning her, fearing to overset the 
tottering brain by exciting painful emotions 

" Doth thy husband know that thou hast returned to the 
house of thy father ? " her mother asked. 

" No-o," was the reply, given with a startled look around 
her, indicative of terror. 

" Dost thou fear him, poor child ? " asked Mrs. Snow. 



3 2 Sdbina. 

" Father ! let me stay with thee," was the reply. 

When he was alone with his wife, he suggested that it 
vould be better to tell Wilfred Tresillian that Mabel was 
vith her relatives, both to reassure him as to her safety, and 
n order that he might deal gently with her, instead of order- 
ng her to return to him. They recognised his right to do so 
is her husband. They dared not ask as to the circumstances 
)f her journey ; it might have been taken with his consent ; 
t might have been a flight from his persecution. So Mr. 
snow wrote thus : — 

" Wilfred Tresillian, 

"Thy wife Mabel has returned to our home; if it 
;eem good to thee we wish thou wouldest permit her to 
emain with us, for she seems to require ministration with a 
;entle hand to soothe her wandering mind. I write lest thou 
ihouldest be uneasy on finding she has left thee. 

" I am, thy correspondent, 

" Walter Snow." 

To this Mr. Tresillian answered :— 

" Dear Sir, 

" I am glad to hear of Mrs. Tresillian's safety, and 
hat she is in the care of those whom she has herself chosen 
o minister to her comfort, and I beg that no expense may 
)e spared to procure her the best medical attendance which 
ler state may require, for which you may hold me respon- 
ible. 

" I remain, your obedient servant, 

" Wilfred Tresillian." 



CHAPTER XXXIX. 

"Thou hast deceived an honest heart, whose strong 
And trusting faith reluctantly is broken; 

Yet lingers love, although respect be gone, 

Cheiished like memory of some kind word spoken, 

By hearts now coldly tutored to forget, 
Or as the skies retain their glowing light, 
The sun's reflection when his orb is set." 




OE leave Mabel in such tranquillity as her sad cir- 
cumstances permit, and return to the sick bed of 
Sabina. 

Like the Queen of Carthage, like all unhappy 
creatures who are disappointed in love, she loathed the light 
of day. It was irksome to her to watch the line of sunshine 
as it passed over the opposite wall. " Her days were days 
of vanity," i.e., of false images — things unreal — and weari- 
some nights were appointed unto her. She could not rest 
without stealing out, as if impelled by some spell to see once 
or twice during the night that her uncle was safe in his bed. 
She thought he would have found out the truth about Mr. 
Tresillian, would steal away and fight a duel, and be wounded 
or killed for her sake, or wound or kill her lover. She could 
not conceal from herself that she loved Mr. Tresillian with 
all the passion and tenderness of which her nature was ca- 
pable ; yet she recoiled from the treachery with which he had 
treated her, and shrank from the contemplation of such 
baseness. 

" How could she hate the crime, yet keep the sense ? 
How loathe the offender, yet detest the offence ? " 

She wished she could forget him, and tried to turn her 
thoughts to other subjects. The wreck, the Abbey Farm, 



334 Sabina. 

the coast at Saint Eve ; but over-riding them all was the 
image of Mabel Snow — Mabel Tresillian, the lawful wife of 
the man she felt she had been loving since her childhood, 
without being conscious how deeply her affections had taken 
root. Mabel Snow it was who occupied consciously the 
place she longed to fill — Mabel Snow, the playmate of her 
childish hours, when she had stayed at Trevedra with the 
family who had pitied her destitute condition, and been kind 
to her. Why should she not have loved him ? How could 
she help loving him ? How cruel it was to play with her 
attachment as he had done ! How kind Lady Sarah had 
always been to her ! In what a fool's paradise she had lived 
at Tregear. He could not have loved her ? Love does not 
seek the disgrace, the destruction of its object. She would 
forget him ; — and overcome by bodily weakness she turned 
away and wept. 

" Would the days never pass ? " Here was Susan with a 
tray. " What ! only one o'clock ? Pheasant ? " 

" Yes, Miss ; a beautiful brace, sent yesterday from Lady 
Saran with her compliments." 

" Oh, Susan ; I can't eat it. Take it to my uncle. I 
wish some one would tell them not to send the nasty things. 
I hate flowers and grapes, and game, and everything." 

Sabina felt like a disappointed legatee, to whom the heir 
sends a present of a hundred pounds to console him for the 
loss of a hundred thousand. 

She had no wish to get up ; no spirit to employ herself. 
Mr. Dent told her she must make an effort, she would be 
better for getting up. He brought a song for her to try for 
him. " She must be partly dressed, and there was the piano 
quite handy. He should look in in the evening. Miss 
'Melia Cressy sang it beautifully." Sabina smiled faintly. 
She did not care who sang and who did not ; but she let 
Susan draw on her stockings, having nearly toppled over 
once in the effort to do so herself, and was partly dressed 
and wrapped in her dressing gown, and seated at the old 
piano. Her fingers were very faint and feeble over the keys, 
and they hit random notes at first, but at length they re- 
covered some of their cunning, and her feeble voice 
murmured rather than sang the air, whilst her fingers fell on 
the chords of the accompaniment. Mr. Rock came and 
listened silently, and thanked Heaven for his child's amend- 



Sabina. 335 

ment, looking forward to the day when he should have the 
triumph of leading her into the sitting room, and showing 
her the new grand piano. 

Mr. Dent prided himself on his craft. The next clay a 
difficult piece of instrumental music was brought, of which 
he professed himself utterly unable to understand the flute 
accompaniment if Miss Rock was not kind enough to play 
the concerto. 

" Ah ! what a pity this piano cannot do justice to it. It 
wants the additional keys." 

Mr. Rock looked on with an air of satisfaction. The un- 
seen, unheard blessing down stairs, had every added improve- 
ment of which pianos were then considered capable. Sabina 
promised to study the concerto. She had, poor girl, the 
feeling always found to be illusory, that the doctor would 
charge less in his great bill at the end of the illness, if the 
patient was gentle and obliging, and not given to worry him 
by irritating claims on his time and attention, or complaints 
of the nastiness of his drugs. 

My own impression is, that they always charge more, 
from the idea that if patients are meek they are helpless, 
and may be easily trampled on. The gouty gentleman who 
flings his crutch at the head of his doctor, or the peevish old 
woman, who has him waked from his first sleep, to declare 
she is attacked by cholera, when she had dined on goose- 
berry tart — these are the folks who obtain most attention at 
the smallest rate of charge. 

However, Sabina's experience was small, and her dread of 
the bill great, for her uncle's sake ; so she worked away at 
the difficult crashing concerto of Griffin in three sharps, till 
she came to the pathetic air, so wonderfully arranged that 
beauty is added where it seemed impossible to beautify the 
original, and on to the brilliant rondo at the end. It was 
strange how she recovered her strength in this occupation. 
She would get well quicker yet if she could be tempted into 
the air, Mr. Dent said, but Sabina fought against going down 
stairs. She knew there was a chance of Mr. Tresillian's 
calling, and as her uncle would as soon have signed his name 
to a deliberate falsehood, as have ordered Susan to say, 
" Not at home," she knew there was no escape for her if he 
did call. Had she tried to get up stairs, she would have met 
him in the passage. Mr. Tresillian, however, felt that there 



336 Sabina. 

was now no excuse, as Sabina was getting well, for his calling 
daily, so he contrived to find out what progress she was 
making towards perfect health, by sending for Mr. Dent to 
attend a groom boy, whom his horse had kicked in the leg. 
The bruise was nothing. The parents were not disturbed by 
it ; but the tender-hearted master was determined to have 
the best advice, and sent for Mr. Dent from Deepindale ac- 
cordingly. He was in the seventh heaven of rapture. His 
talents were at length appreciated. He knew he had done 
well in calling attention to himself at that celebrated concert. 
His fortune was made. 

Sabina, finding that Mr. Tresillian ceased to call, was glad 
to escape from the confinement of her room ; and one 
morning before one o'clock, she dressed herself, and asked 
for her uncle's arm to walk down stairs. " Wait a minute ! 
wait a minute, my dear, till I have been down and seen the 
doors are all shut," said the artful veteran, who in reality 
was fumbling to find the key, which had sunk into the 
recesses of his capacious pocket. There it was at last, and 
with shaking hands he unlocked it, and erected the music- 
stand, and placed the music-stool, and then, standing back, 
he shaded his eyes from the sunshine to see the effect. 

"Yes, nothing could be better," he thought, and he went 
up, with a glow on his old weather-beaten face, to bring his 
child to see the much-prized purchase. 

Sabina came down very slowly, for she felt giddy from the 
unusual exertion, and her knees bent under her. Her uncle 
placed his arm round her waist, and led her into the room, 
making a full stop before the grand piano. 

Sabina gave a little cry, and then burst into tears. She 
understood all the love, all the sacrifice involved in such a 
gift, and I doubt whether its magnitude did not produce 
more pain than pleasure in her mind. The old lieutenant 
at first was shocked by those tears, but attributed them to 
bodily weakness, which made them indications of pleasure, 
which otherwise would have been shown in smiles — for 
smiles indeed succeeded them — and expressions of pleasure 
and gratitude were precipitated one over another, till the old 
man's heart was full, and he almost wept too. 

" What an old fool I am, child ! As Shakspeare makes a 
young girl say somewhere, ' I am a fool to weep at what 
I'm glad of.' You will get well now, quite, my darling, and 



Sabina. 



337 



sing to me, the ' Heaving of the Lead,' and ' The Lizard 
Lights,' and 'Sweet Poll of Plymouth.' We shall be so 
happy, my dear ! " 

" A pair of friends, though she was young 5 
And he was seventy-two." 

Some days after, when Sabina considered herself quite 
strong again, a note was brought to her from the great 
house, with a tremendously black border. Sabina recognised 
Lady Sarah's hand in the superscription ; but some terror, lest 
anything should have happened to Mr. Tresillian, made her 
tremble in tearing the paper round the seal — a large seal 
with a widow's lozenge, as was the fashion in those bygone 
days. 

The letter was as follows:— 

" My dear Sabina, 

" I am sure you will sympathise with me in the 
great loss I have sustained by the death of my dearest 
Robert, of which a courier has just apprised me. Wilfred 
started immediately to the seat of his late brother, as of course 
much, painf til business must devolve on him with regard to 
the funeral. I can scarcely see what I write, my eyes are 
so swollen with weeping. I have a great deal to think about, 
my dear, and really if your uncle could spare you to come 
over, I should like you to be here to support my spirits, at 
the trying moment when the people come from town to bring 
my mourning, when the benefit of your taste in the selection 
I must make will be the greatest assistance to me. 

'' I hope your uncle does not attribute your serious illness 
to any want of care on my part during your last visit. You 
shall not travel except in my own carriage this time, for I 
dare say that nasty postchaise was damp and mouldy, or let 
in the water, which accounts for it all. So pray induce Mr. 
Rock to spare you, if you can come without much incon- 
venience to him or risk to your own health. 

" Yours sincerely, 

" Sarah Trelusa." 

Sabina gave the note to her uncle. He was pleased at 
the consideration expressed on his account, and flattered that 
Sabina had been thought of by her ladyship in all her 



338 Sabinct. 

troubles. Probably, the kind-hearted veteran gave her 
credit for more feeling than she really possessed, and thought 
the difficulty in the choice of mourning arose chiefly from 
her anxiety how to show her respect in choosing the deepest. 

" You must go, Sabina, it seems to me," he said, medita- 
tively. 

" Oh ! uncle, do you think so ? I had so much rather 
not. You see, I cannot get away when I like, being de- 
pendent on Lady Sarah for her carriage." 

" That is true, my dear ; but she may be a good friend to 
you in future, when, when " — but the unselfish old man did 
not like to pain his niece by suggesting when she would be so 
useful. 

" I will go, uncle, if you think I must ; but I am not so 
well able to walk as I was, and the weather is so very cold 
and dreary." 

" No ! you must not return every day to see me. You 
can go for a week, and then come back for good. Let 
Lady Sarah understand that before you go." 

"Yes; and, as her ladyship only wants me in Mr. 
Tresillian's absence, I can return sooner if he returns before 
the expiration of the week." 

" True, my dear. Remember, you must not call him Mr. 
Tresillian any more ; he is Lord Trelusa now." 

" Yes ; I had forgotten that he succeeds to the title," ob- 
served Sabina. 

When Sabina, on the following day, reached Tregear, she 
was ushered up to the lady's dressing-room, in which the 
shutters were half-closed. Lady Sarah greeted her in a 
plaintive voice, and passed her delicate handkerchief over 
her beautiful eyes, and then kissed Sabina kindly and set to 
work on the business in hand, having summoned a young 
woman arrived from town and her own woman to assist at 
the deliberation. 

Her ladyship had more opinion of Sabina's judgment than 
of her own, or that of the milliner or her own maid. Wilfred 
had said "that girl's taste is perfect," and Wilfred must 
know. Sabina was glad to be of service, and admiring the 
still beautiful daughter of the Earl of Canonbury sincerely, 
she took pleasure in seeing the dazzling fairness of her 
shoulders and full bust set off by the deepness of the non- 
reflecting black texture of her dresses. 



Sabina. 33c 

When all the orders were given, and the patterns tried on 
and retried, and decided on, Lady 1 Sarah dismissed every- 
one but Sabina, and taking her softly to a drawer in a ward- 
robe, she said, wiping her eyes — 

" My dear, mournings are so dreadfully long — twelve 
months for a son ! However, no one shall ever say I die 
not do my duty to the poor boy, and I must say black ii 
becoming to a fair skin ; but, as I was going to observe 
my dear, here are two lovely silks — a blue and a pink. I was 
just going to have them made up for dinner dresses, anc 
there is a brown gros de Naples for a morning dress. Al 
these will be quite out of fashion before twelve months art 
over, and so I will give them to you if you will accept them 
I should like to see you in them, my dear, since I canno' 
wear them myself." 

Sabina suggested that her ladyship might keep them, as 
there was nothing about the patterns of the silks likely tc 
bear date ; but her patroness assured her that she shoulc 
loathe the sight of them if she kept them by her, and Sabina 
could not do better than to take them in the same spirit as 
they were offered. 

The girl did not object to the present. She had been 
assured by Lady Sarah that the work- she had accomplished 
on the veil was worth a hundred pounds, by doing which 
she had saved her friend that sum, so she did not care tc 
refuse what the lady meant as a kindness. She did not 
care much for the costly silks, and meditated whether she 
could dispose of them in some way to pay Mr. Dent's bill 
for attendance during her illness. 

Sabina, though treated with the greatest kindness by hei 
hostess, pined for her home. She felt she had lost ground 
in the command of her mind since her return to Tregear. 
The discussion of chromatic scales, and occasional and un- 
expected discords revolving into concords, with Mr. Dent, 
had driven out in some degree the thought of her unprinci- 
pled lover ; but at Tregear she saw his daily letter to his 
mother every morning on the breakfast table. Every book, 
every flower, every garden path, reminded her of him — of 
some circumstance which was linked with his remembrance. 
In the library, he had taken down and left on the table the 
then newly-published volume of " Rokeby," to show her 
the outlaw's song, and to inquire jestingly whether she 
22 — 2 



34° Sabina 

would follow the example of " The Lady on the Turret 
High." This led them to Prior's version of " The Nut- 
brown Maid," and Lord Trelusa had repeated those charm- 
ing lines, containing the question of Henry, with a tone of 
tenderness which increased the exquisite melody of the 
poet — 

" Didst thou but purpose to embark with me 
On the smooth surface of the summer sea, 
And to forsake the bark and seek the shore 
When the wind rises and the billows roar ? '' 

She remembered the love and the inquiry blended in his 
eyes, which she then could not understand. Now, the 
meaning supplied by subsequent facts was a painful one ; it 
was a tentative question, for the purpose of seeing how she 
would take the situation for which he intended her — that of 
his mistress. 

It was so hard to hate him when she loved him so dearly ; 
yet she loathed his treachery with all the revulsion of an 
honest heart. The weather was bitter outside the house, 
but in the hot-houses summer still bloomed. They had 
stood there under the tangles of the passion flower, and he 
had playfully twisted one of the long branches, laden with 
its yellow pods and starry blossoms, round her head as a 
wreath, without detaching it from its stem, and said she was 
imprisoned by passion, and could not be released. She had 
undone the garland carefully, but could not replace the 
long, twisted creeper, from which the small tendrils had 
been separated. The flower, removed from its support, 
hung sadly, with retroverted leaves, looking pale and dis- 
hevelled. Here it was as they had left it that morning when 
they had been so happy. 

" I knew not I was walking on a volcano," said the girl, 
to herself. 

He had climbed upon one of the stages of the hot-house 
to take down the pitcher plant, a specimen of which Sabina 
had never before seen. He had dipped his fingers in the 
fluid in its cup, on her saying that it might serve as a font to 
the fairies, and flung some of the drops over her brow, say- 
ing that he baptised her afresh by the name of Sabina Tre- 
sillian. 

She had been unwise, she felt, to dare all these memories 
by her visit to Tregear, though she did not exactly see how 



Sabitia. 341 

she could have avoided coming. He could not return 
before the funeral of the late lord, and consequently she 
should have at least a week or ten days clear. At the ex- 
piration of the week Lady Sarah entreated her to stay till 
after the funeral, driving into Deepindale herself to prefer 
her request to Mr. Rock. The old man was overwhelmed 
with confusion at such an honour, and consented before he 
knew what he said. He did not, however, wish to recall it. 
It pleased his old Tory notions that his niece should live ir 
society so refined, and so far above any he could procure 
for her in Deepindale. 

" The child was getting quite womanly," he thought 
" folks will be falling in love'with her soon — not yet though' 
(with a saving thought of comfort) — " she is so very young 
and Lord Trelusa knows she is quite a child." 






CHAPTER XL. 

" To subdue th' unconquerable mind, 
To make one reason have the same effect 
Upon all apprehensions : to force this 
Or this man, just to think as thou and I do ? 
Impossible ! unless the souls which differ 
Like human faces were alike in all." 

Dryden. 

EFORE the time could elapse which would enable 
Lord Trelusa to reach Tregear after the funeral, 
Sabina returned home. Lady Sarah shed a tear 
or two from her beautiful blue eyes as she said 
good-bye, declared she had been of the greatest comfort to 
her in her affliction, and placed a fifty-pound note in her hand. 
She had not meant to get rid of her obligation to Sabina by 
the gift of the silk dresses only. 

" Don't scruple to have it, my dear. Buy something for 
that dear old man at home ; say that I gave it to him, but 
you know what would please him best. I have plenty of 
money always. I do not want it. Trelusa will be wonder- 
fully rich now." 

And a quiet look of satisfaction settled on her face ; for 
her eldest son had been plain in his person, coarse in his 
manners, and degraded in his habits, besides being un- 
dutiful to herself. No wonder that she thought her 
youngest the perfection of a gentleman, and the very best 
son who had ever lived. 

Soon after his brother's funeral, Lord Trelusa received 
the following letter, addressed to " Wilfred Tresillian, com- 
monly called Lord Trelusa : " — 



Sabina. 343 

"Wilfred Tresillian, 

" It seemeth good to me, and also to my wife Rachel, 
to have some communing with thee on a subject which must 
be as important to thee as to us ; and if it seemeth fit to 
thee, be pleased to call at the house of my sister-in-law 

in Street, by name Jane Den, when, if thou art there 

at one of the clock, we shall be ready to receive thee. 
" I am, thy correspondent, 

"Walter Snow." 

The object of seeing him in London rather than in Corn- 
wall was to avoid any collision between Mabel and her 
husband, as he surmised, which might have disturbed her 
mind. 

When he reached the house, nothing seemed changed, 
either outside or inside. The same gaunt maid ushered him 
up stairs, and in the same room in the same places sat 
Walter and Rachel Snow, and Jane Den. Fifteen months 
had passed since he had gone thither to demand the hand 
of Mabel in marriage, and how much of disturbance to him 
and distress to others had arisen since ! 

He sat down, the servant having placed a chair before 
she left the room ; and he waited for his father or mother- 
in-law to begin the conference ; but heavy sighs, first from 
one Friend, and then from another, were all he could hear 
for the first few minutes. 

" 'Tis lucky I'm not in a hurry, or these folks would drive 
me distracted," said the young lord mentally. 

Rachel Snow first began to speak. 

" Thou art here, Wilfred Tresillian, in the same room and 
with the same persons thou didst meet fifteen months and 
twelve days ago. Thou has controverted our wishes, and 
taken from us our daughter since that day ; and has thy 
heart been lighter, and thy spirit more glad, because thou 
didst take thy own pleasure, and lured a simple girl into 
thy snare ? I believe if thou wert to tell the truth, thou 
would est say that thy heart is heavy with the weight of a 
great care." 

"Are you aware, Madam," said Wilfred, " of the circum- 
stances which led to my meeting your daughter ? It was to 
shield her brother that she wished all the past to be con- 
cealed ; but as without any act of mine you are, as I am 



344 Sabi/ia. 

informed, aware of all your son's conduct, you can receive 
no greater pain than he has already inflicted. I saw your 
daughter first outside the gate of your garden, striving to 
induce your son, who had a prostitute on his arm, and was 
exceedingly drunk, to return to the house. She was insulted 
—your pure-minded, delicate daughter — by his inebriated 
companions, and in defending her I was struck and wounded 
in the face. At her request I followed the misguided young 
man, and some hours later two of my servants picked him 
up insensible in the road, and carried him to his bed at your 
house. His state of insensibility gave me serious apprehen- 
sions as to his life. I remained with him all night, nursing 
him with care which he did not deserve, and your daughter 
was grateful. We loved — she, probably, for the first time— 
and her love, I need hardly say, was truer and purer than 
my own ; yet I meant well by her, and on your son bringing 
that woman at night into your house, I avowed my inten- 
tion of making Mabel my wife, and as her future husband 
insisted that no insult should be offered to her. I demanded 
her hand of you in marriage, as an honourable man should. 
You received my propositfon with scoffing and expressions 
little short of insult. I gave way to your wishes, and saw 
nothing and heard nothing of Mabel, after I had told her 
that for a week I should consider myself bound to act by 
any suggestion of hers, till at the expiration of some consi- 
derable time she came to me in the middle of the night, 
agitated and distressed, and threw herself on my protection. 
I did that which I felt was due to her purity — that which 
few young men, whose lives have not been conducted on 
the strictest principles of morality, would have done — I 
married her. I gave her a commodious house and a com- 
mand of money ample for every want or wish. I should 
have been an attached husband, as I ever was a tender one, 
but she repulsed every attention, because she could not 
prevail on me to adopt the tenets of the sect in which she 
was educated. The prospect of her bearing me a child was 
an additional source of disquiet and grief to her. She 
wished, whatever might be its sex, that it should be educated 
as one of the Society of Friends. The child was born, and 
a few days subsequently " (and here the father became pale 
and spoke low) " she grasped the little helpless infant by 
the throat, and but for my stronger hand, which unclasped 



Sabina. 345 

those murderous fingers, she would have strangled my son. 
I took the child and placed it in safe keeping. She will 
never see him again." 

A groan burst from the breast of each parent of Mabel 
when they heard for the first time the terrible proof of her 
insanity, of which they had known the existence for sixteen 
months, but had not suspected that it had evinced itself in 
a manner so frightful. They sat some time in silence, not 
doubting the truth of the account given them by Lord 
Trelusa, but overwhelmed by grief and concern at the facts 
stated. 

At length Mr. Snow spoke. 

" I have no doubt, Friend Wilfred, that the poor girl's 
brain had been disturbed by the too great responsibility with 
which we invested her, in leaving the cares of a family on 
one so young ; but our eyes were holden, that we should 
not see the misconduct of that unhappy youth. 

" Our object in meeting thee to-day was to suggest to 
thee that as Mabel showed symptoms of mental alienation 
before thy marriage with her, it would be in our power to 
dissolve such marriage in a court of law, and this would 
prevent that which has been hanging over us for some time, 
the disgrace of her being excluded from the Society of 
Friends, in consequence of her marriage with one not of 
that sect. Of course it would simplify matters very much 
if thou didst not raise any legal objections to such a 
course." 

He was silent and looked at Lord Trelusa, whom astonish- 
ment rendered speechless. 

" Good Heavens ! Mr. Snow. What grounds have you 
to go on? How can you prove my wife to have been 
insane, when the first symptoms came on after her con- 
finement ? " 

" Not the first symptoms, friend. If thou wilt interrogate 
Jane Den, her aunt, thou wilt find I have not advanced any- 
thing which cannot be proved by her evidence, and that of 
her servant." 

Miss Den, with many sighs, told of the eccentricity of 
Mabel's conduct, and of the effort she had made to ac- 
complish her self-destruction. 

"Why was I not warned of this?' was the natural 
question asked by Lord Trelusa, 



346 Sabina. 

" We thought," said Mabel's mother, "that her marriage 
with one whom she greatly loved, would probably lead to 
happy results as regarded her sanity, and that if we inter- 
fered to take her from thee it might precipitate the evil we 
feared would fall on her. It is only now that she comes to 
us broken in spirit, and heavy ' in heart, that we feel we 
would do much to restore her to the fold whence she so un- 
happily strayed, poor wounded lamb ! " 

" But do you not see," said Lord Trelusa, "that should 
your efforts bring forth fruit you bastardise my child ?— the 
child whose prospects are so fair — who is now the next heir 
to a peerage ? " 

" It is on that very ground we wish it," said the couple 
in one breath. " Excuse me, Walter Snow," said the more 
eloquent female Friend, as her husband was about to speak. 
" We feel with our dear Mabel on this point, and though it 
was an act of madness to attempt the poor infant's life, we 
think his chance of ultimate happiness would be greater, 
brought up in the Society of Friends, as the natural child of 
Mabel Snow, considering the circumstances of her marriage, 
than if he were the person called by men Lord Trelusa, 
educated in the pomps and vanities of the world, and 
habituated to all the sinful lusts of the flesh. If everything 
that a man hath will he give for his life, as the Scripture 
says, how much more for life eternal. ' What will a man 
profit, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own 
soul?'" 

Lord Trelusa felt his brain reel with the momentousness 
of the proposition as stated by his father and mother-in-law. 
His feelings were mingled, for he loved his little son, and 
could not but feel a pang at the idea of the injury he should 
inflict on him by his assent to the wishes of Mabel's 
parents. 

So differently did the two parties judge. Lord Trelusa 
believed that a mortal injury would accrue to his boy should 
he be deprived of his peerage. The Snows were convinced 
that he would be lost immortally should he be brought up 
to hold that worldly honour. 

Lord Trelusa begged to take time to consider the point. 
This was accorded, but Mrs. Snow reminded him that 
though he might delay and embarrass their proceedings, he 
could not prevent th'eir arriving at the conclusion desired by 



Sabina. 347 

Mabel's family. They should attain their end, even should 
he oppose them, though at greater loss both of time and 
money 

To be free, to be able to inthral himself again — this time 
under happier auspices — this thought made his eyes flash, 
and his footstep light, as he left Miss Den's house. He 
heard from her servant before he left, of the effort made by 
the unhappy Mabel to destroy herself, and shuddered when 
he saw the window, from the ledge of which the maid had 
saved her from precipitating herself. Poor Mabel ! his con- 
science was clear on that score. He had behaved ex- 
ceedingly well to her. Not one man in a hundred would 
have thus acted under similar circumstances. But Sabina ! 
ah ! there he flinched, and recoiled from the investigation 
urged by conscience. His mad passion would have made 
him a scoundrel to that darling child. But she would for- 
give him, would marry him, if he could make up his mind 
to do this injustice to his boy. Why should he not ? It 
would be done, without him probably. How fond his 
mother seemed of Sabina. The daily letters were full of 
her. " Sabina had written her orders for her to her trades- 
men. Sabina had selected her mourning. Sabina had sang 
to her all the evening like an angel. She did not know 
what she would do when Sabina returned to her uncle." 
He would hasten home. He could go now the funeral was 
over. He would go down unexpectedly and find her with 
his mother, and tell her all the truth about Mabel ; and she 
would make excuses for him even more than he should 
make for himself — " she loved him so." She had owned 
that, even when most angry, justly angry with him for the 
deceit he had practised upon her. Yet the thought of his 
boy haunted him. Poor little infant ! He loved him the 
more that he had saved his life. He thought of feeling 
proud of him when he grew up ; of the personal resemblance 
to himself, which was strong even in those infantine 
features ; he thought what his son's career in Parliament 
should be. He would be a cleverer, or in any event, a 
more industrious man than himself. He had a boy, an heir, 
which his deceased brother had ever longed for in vain, 
being blessed only by a female progeny. He might have a 
score of useless girls like his brother, and never again a 
beautiful male infant like his own. Before he sought Sabina, 



34& Sabina. 

he would see the child again. AVell ! but would not the 
boy be happy enough as a broad brim ? No ; he could not 
reconcile himself to this idea. The boy could only be 
happy and prosperous in the way he. thought more fortunate. 
They might take the child from him — what then ? 

He knew not how to decide, "and found no end in 
wandering mazes lost;" but he came down to Cornwall 
with the knowledge that he would have to return to London 
immediately. That did not matter. He must see the little 
Wilfred and Sabina. His heart bounded at her name, like 
that of a happy bridegroom, expecting a fond welcome 
from the chosen of his heart. It was his habit to visit 
his boy unexpectedly, that he might be satisfied as to 
what treatment he received from the nurse, and judge 
whether the scrupulous cleanliness he enforced was at- 
tended to. 

He found no reason to complain. The infant was dressed, 
to the pride and delight of his foster-mother, in the most 
stainless of robes, and the richest of lace caps. A clean 
white bib was under its chin, and a piece of pink flannel 
covered it with its outward folds. 

" Is the baby well, nurse ? " said the father, looking con- 
tentedly at its round arms and dimpled fingers. 

" Ye-es, Sir, that is, my lord ? " 

"What do you mean by ye-es 1" said Wilfred, im- 
patiently. 

" I can't rightly say," said the woman, looking puzzled. 
" The babe sucks well, but he never takes no notice, 
and his mouth hangs open, and his head goes a' one 
side, and he can't hold nothing in his hand ! I ne'er seed 
but one so before, and that was a natural " 

The father turned pale. 

" Take good care of him," he said, placing an additional 
fee in the nurse's hand. 

" Gracious Heaven ! that grasp on his throat made him 
an idiot ! Everything has united to punish me for having 
acted honourably towards that accursed woman ! " But 
he repented the adjective as soon as it was uttered. 
" Poor Mabel ! Well ! 'tis really a warning to me never 
to try for being a good man, a character which brings 
penances so peculiarly crushing. I might save myself 
the trouble of thinking about my boy as the future Lord 



Sabi/ict. 



349 



Trelusa. Quaker or not he will never be capable of holding 
the title." 

There was comfort, however, in the thought of his 
freedom. He would communicate at once with the Snows, 
and say that he would not oppose their wishes. Mabel did 
not care for him — rather feared and avoided him. She 
would be happier with her own family. 






CHAPTER XLI. 

" Early, bright, transient, pure as morning dew, 
She sparkled, was exhaled, and went to heaven." 

Young. 

UT a mightier power than that of human law was at 
work to free Mabel from all earthly ills. 

She seemed on her return home to fall some- 
what into her usual habits and occupations, but 
with an indisposition to speak or move, even greater than 
had been the case when, in her happiest days, she had 
ever been more tranquil than cheerful. She dropped 
asleep over her book, or needlework, and awoke with a 
start, with a flushed face and dilated pupils. One morn- 
ing they found her unwilling or unable to rise. Her eyes 
wandered unconsciously and without speculation from one 
object to another. She uttered the name of her married 
sister, and then of her father. Her father came to her 
bedside, and wept over her ; but she was unconscious of 
pain or sorrow. In a few hours effusion on the brain 
supervened, and Lord Trelusa was a widower. 

It was a consolation to Mrs. Snow that Mabel, whose 
supposed defection from the doctrine taught by the Friends 
had never been made public at the quarterly or yearly 
meeting, was buried in the graveyard belonging to the 
Quakers' meeting. 

Lord Trelusa's mourning for his brother made an altera- 
tion of dress unnecessary, and made unnecessary also, as 
he remembered with comfort, any communication of the 
very unpleasant story to his mother. 

No delay now ! He would seek his darling, and plead 



Sabina. 351 

his cause successfully. He gave a half laugh at the notion 
that it " could be anything but successful," standing before 
the large glass in the solitary London drawing-room, which 
reflected the very handsome person of a young man of 
thirty years, fair-haired and fresh-looking, a peer of the 
realm, with wealth which seemed fabulous. But he did 
Sabina the justice to think that he owed more to her love 
than to any personal or adventitious advantages. 

He was disappointed on arriving at Tregear to find Lady 
Sarah alone. 

" Miss Rock has returned home, I suppose ? " 

" Yes," said the lady, with a gentle sigh. " She is so 
fond of that old man ; I believe she hates to be away from 
him." 

Lord Trelusa thought of the loneliness of the veteran 
lieutenant when his niece should be Lady Trelusa, and sat 
musing a few minutes as to whether there could not be a 
suite of rooms fitted up for the old man both at Tregear and 
in the London house. 

" The old lieutenant is quite a gentleman of the old 
school in manners," she went on to say. " It is rather agree- 
able to meet such an one after the carelessness towards ladies, 
and the absence of reverence in manner, which are creeping 
into the society of young men in the present day." 

Her ladyship had been nattered by the extreme devotion 
shown by the old sailor (always susceptible to female charms) 
to her beauty rather than her rank. 

" Yes, he is a gentleman every inch of him," responded 
her son. He would be his father-in-law very soon, and he 
must exalt him to make him worthy that position. 

It was at night that this conversation took place. 

" I shall ride over to Deepindale before your eyes are 
open to-morrow, my lady. Can I do anything for you ? " 

" No, my son ; unless you ask at the coach-office if my 
parcel has come from Hogard and Amber." 

Lord Trelusa promised to remember but forgot, in the 
vivid interests which occupied him. 

When he reached Mr. Rock's house, Susan met him with 
a smile and a courtesy. " He was such a pleasant gentle- 
man," she thought, "and sent so many nice things from 
Tregear, though to be sure, she should have been thankful 
if he had kept the game to himself. No one could tell how 



35 2 Sabina. 

hard those birds were to pluck, nor the time it took to do 
them well ! Then, to be sure, master, poor, dear gentle- 
man, seemed to enjoy them, though she could never touch a 
bit, after drawing, and trussing, and roasting them herself. 
There was the bread-sauce, too ! such a quantity of crust it 
left ! If it wasn't that Miss Sabina' s teeth were beautiful, 
they never could have got through them crusts." 

All these thoughts ran through Susan's head as she smiled 
and courtesied to the young lord. 

" Will you like to walk in, Sir ? We've got a new piano, 
— such a beauty ! Master got it for Miss, but she being so 
ill, poor dear, hasn't played much on it as yet." 

" But where is Miss — Mr. Rock ? " 

" Lor, Sir ! don't you know ? " For, with the usual cir- 
cumscribed notions of ignorant folks, she believed the 
affairs of the family in which she lived to be sufficiently 
important to be known to the whole world. " Master was 
so grieved when he saw how bad Miss looked when she 
came home from Tregear, that he took her away next day to 
Saint Eve. She will catch her death of cold, says I,— but 
he didn't take heed of me, and so they went." 

" And how did Miss Rock seem to be ? " said Lord Trelusa. 

" She seemed wonderful down-hearted, if I may say so, 
Sir — that is, my lord. My young missus hasn't been the 
same since her illness. Mr. Dent — that's the doctor — says 
he don't like the looks of her." 

" But why Saint Eve — that bleak place ? Ah ! I see — 
Mr. Orellan. My piece of virtue has stood in my way there 
again. Why did I get that place in the coastguard for that 
old fellow, just to tempt the other old man to go after him, 
and take his niece away from me ? " thought the young man 
to himself. "Good-bye, Susan," he said, cheerfully, giving 
her half-a-crown. " Do you think they will soon come 
home ? " 

" Can't say, Sir — hope they will — for now I've done clean- 
ing the house up, 'tis wonderful dull without them." 

It was too late to go to Saint Eve that day, so Lord 
Trelusa returned to Tregear, and had to confess his forget- 
fulness of Lady Sarah's commission. 

It was true that Mr. Rock was shocked by the alteration 
for the worse in Sabina's appearance ; but that was not the 
only reason for their sudden removal to Saint Eve. 



Sabina. 



353 



" Dear Rock," Mr. Orellan wrote, " I think I never have 
wanted your valuable counsel so frequently as I have done 
lately. In these confounded long dark nights the smugglers 
reap their harvest as completely as the labourer does in long 
bright summer days. I am so driven about from one point 
to another, that I'm like a boy playing ' What's my name ? ' 
I'm pulled behind ; turn to catch my adversary, and get 
another poke from another direction. In the meantime the 
revenue is defrauded, and my chief will soon begin to think 
me a lubberly landsman instead of a sharp officer. The 
chief reason of my failure is want of hands. I have not 
men enough allowed me to guard the different points where 
tubs are landed. I was speaking to Ferrers — that preaching 
fellow is not so bad when you come to know him — and he 
said, ' Why don't you ask your friend to come and stay a few 
weeks here ? The air was very beneficial the last time, and 
I dare say he would be glad to be of use to an old friend. 
I am going to see some friends in Yorkshire for a couple of 
months, and the Abbey Farm is quite at his service and that 
of his niece. Alice will be glad of companions in these 
dreary winter evenings.' 

" I believe the invitation was heartily given, and I need 
not say how pleased I shall be if you can find it convenient 
to accept it. 

" With my compliments to Miss Rock, I am, your obedient 
servant and faithful friend, 

"Stephen Orellan." 

Mr. Rock read part of this letter to Sabina, passing over 
the part about the smugglers, lest she should be alarmed. 
He wished to go to Saint Eve, but doubted whether Sabina 
would like to leave the neighbourhood of her new piano so 
soon. He knew not that the poor girl carried in her bosom 
a hidden wound which provoked as much restlessness in her 
movements as the same cause produced in those of the 
Tyrian queen. She was glad to get away from the neigh- 
bourhood of Tregear — glad to leave the home where her 
illness had been so wearying — glad to have the thought of 
the fresh salt breezes playing on her feverish brow. She 
seemed to feel, poor girl, that she might care less for her 
lover in a fresh place. Mr. Rock had had a new assort- 
ment of linen since the payment of his prize-money, and she 
23 



354 Sabina. 

had not the compelled attention to mending his socks and 
putting buttons on his shirts every Saturday when they came 
from the wash. The socks used to spread themselves over 
the following week in former days, and Sabina half regretted 
they did not do so now, so she took to working over the 
toes and heels, as she had been taught to do in Mrs. Snow's 
family. 

It would be a comfort, she thought, if the poodle would 
tear some more lace, for her to mend for Lady Sarah. She 
had the great pleasure of paying Mr. Dent's bill before they 
left Deepindale, which she only got by sitting down in the 
surgery and saying she would wait there till it was made out. 
A distant time is so agreeable to the creditor when some of 
the items may be considered doubtful. To do justice to 
Mr. Dent's penetration, he knew both uncle and niece too 
well to think of lumping the charges, so pleasing a plan to a 
medical practitioner, who says when he has made up the 
account to four pounds seven shillings and sixpence, "Mayas 
well call it five pounds ; they won't feel the loss of the shillings 
as much as I shall the benefit of them ! " So his account was not 
unreasonable, and Sabina having paid it, began to think 
whether she ought to buy her uncle anything with Lady 
Sarah's money. She would have desired nothing better 
than to expend it all on her uncle ; but he was so touchy on 
money obligations, that she dared not confess to having re- 
ceived that fifty pounds. 

Lady Sarah's little speech, she knew, had only been made 
by way of inducing her to receive the gift, and on considera- 
tion she determined to provide small comforts for Mr. Rock 
without his being cognizant that they did not come out of 
the weekly expenses, rather than that he should feel over- 
whelmed by an obligation which he could not repay. 








CHAPTER XLII. 

" How many hearts have here grown cold, 
That sleep these mouldering stones among ; 
How many beads have here been told j 
How many matins here been sung ! 

" At this gray cross by time long broke, 
Methinks I see some pilgrim kneel j 
I see the curling incense smoke ; 
I hear the organ's solemn peal. 

" But here no more soft music floats, 
Or solemn anthem 's chanted now ; 
All hushed except the ring-dove's notes, 
Soft murmuring from the beechen bough." 

pHEY arrived at Saint Eve one wintry afternoon, and 
were welcomed by Alice. 

"Master only went away yesterday, Sir, and 
said that you were to have everything as comfort- 
able as I could make it for you and the young lady. The 
beds are well aired, and dinner will be ready at five o'clock." 
Mr. Rock wanted to go and see Mr. Orellan at once, but 
the walk was a long one, and led over the cliff, and, to 
please Sabina, they dined together and played chess in the 
evening. 

"You play as well as Orellan now," her uncle said, one 
da)-, rather sadly. " Those young brains always beat the 
old ones, if they have the same amount of strength to start 
with." 

It may be so ; but in this case Sabina's head had been 
better supplied by nature in quickness, than that of either of 
23—2 




356 Sabi/ia. 

the veteran lieutenants ; and this more than balanced the 
skill earned by experience. 

On the following morning they breakfasted early, that Mr. 
Rock might have a long day with his old friend. 

The Abbey Farm had been built on the extreme point of 
land at the north of Saint Eve, and consequently com- 
manded an extended view of the British Channel. The 
town stood away at the back of the abbey, and there was 
something grand and commanding in the isolation of the old 
building, which had been erected in former years, that the 
sound of its bells and the glimmer of its lights might warn 
vessels from the treacherous sandbanks, over which the sea 
broke, at the base of the cliff on which it stood. 

It was a bright, clear day, and Sabina looked sadly over 
the wide extent of waters, which, like futurity, offered no 
defined objects of thought. She sat within the recess of the 
old arched window, and remembered how many hearts 
had offered their griefs at the throne whence alone can be 
obtained pity and consolation. In that chapel how many 
lives had sunk into vacuity in the daily successions of con- 
ventual duties ? Were they happy? she wondered. 

" Where moving shadows mock the part of men." 

She wished she were a Catholic, and could bury her sorrow 
in the cloister. 

Ah ! that dear old man ! She could never leave him 
whilst he lived ; but what was to be her fate at his death ? 
She could not care ; she would go out to service somewhere. 
She felt in such a disposition of mind, that any bodily dis- 
comfort would lose its power to wound her. 

How black those rocks were — variegated with veins of 
crimson and green, brightening in colour as the white waves 
broke over them, and fell in a cascade on the other side. 
She looked at them till she grew giddy. Then she strove 
to find occupation in the room. She opened a book, of 
which the leaves parted too easily to do so without cause, 
and found within them the dead flowers she had placed in 
the glass on the morning she had left the abbey. There 
they were, with a faint dead smell about them. She might 
not have recognised them to be the same, but that she 
li ad tied them together with some netting silk, of which 



Sabiiut. 



57 



to 



she knew the texture, though the colour, like that ot 
the flowers, had faded. So he loved her — this grand- 
looking, high-souled enthusiast. She supposed so, or he 
would not have treasured her flowers. She was slightly 
sorry for it ; but forgot it again directly. Lord Trelusa 
alone occupied her thoughts. She did not care whether Mr. 
Ferrers loved her or not. How beautiful and sleek and 
guileful her lover was ! like a wild animal — a panther — or 
like a serpent crawling stealthily towards its object, and 
then finishing with a deadly spring. 

" Oh ! 'tis useless ! 'tis useless ! " she cried, walking 
swiftly up and down the room. " I love him in spite 
of his wickedness. I loved him when I hung round 
his neck, when I was a little child. I loved him then, 
when I entreated him to let me live with him always. I 
would give the world to fling myself into his arms now, 
and tell him how dear he is to me. How beautiful he 
is ! How kind — except in that weakness ! " Then she 
tried to excuse him to herself, but could not. It was 
not an act of momentary forgetfulness of right conduct, but a 
determined course of seduction. " There was no truth in 
him." He had loved Mabel Snow, or he would not have 
married her. He fancied that he loved Sabina Rock now, 
but in a few months she would have been thrown aside for 
some other newer beauty. Sabina meditated on this, and 
hardened her heart against her lover. 

She thought Mr. Rock would never come back, and went 
out to look for him. Mr. Orellan lived on the western side of 
the town, over the cliff, and Sabina was seized by a sudden 
terror lest her uncle should fall over it. Her mind was 
relieved by seeing two figures, standing out against the gray 
sky, coming towards the Abbey Farm, still at some con- 
siderable distance. Sometimes they stopped, and talked 
earnestly. Then out came their spyglasses, and they peered 
over the edge of the cliff into the distant horizon. Then 
they disappeared altogether over the cliff, and Sabina gave 
a cry of terror, which Alice heard, and, smiling, assured her 
that there were steps cut here and there in the rock, and no 
doubt Captain Orellan (for he had that title there by cour- 
tesy), had gone down to look into the caverns, and see what 
he could find. 

"What could he find — seaweed or shells?" said Sabina. 



358 Sabina. 

"Kegs of liquor, Miss. You know the captain is put 
here to prevent their being landed, or to seize the cargo if it 
is landed. Now, the gentleman that was here before used 
to whistle and look another way when a boat pulled in ; and, 
bless you ! the folks at Saint Eve got their brandy from 
Holland, and their whisky from Ireland, wonderfully cheap ; 
md they made no complaints. Many's the twenty pound 
Captain Cole put into his pocket, and all was kept quiet. 
But this Captain Orellan — I don't say nothing against him, 
Miss, as he's a friend of your uncle's— his for doing his 
iuty, as he calls it, and the consequence is, that there's no- 
ting but watching and waiting, and spying and informing, 
md quarrelling and shooting, from sundown to sunrise, 
unongst the Preventive Service men and the sailors that come 
n the smuggling boats. I think we were happier when 
Captain Cole was here ; we were certainly quieter ; but I 
suppose it is a fine thing to do one's duty, even when 'tis in 
killing or sending to prison poor fellows, who only want 
to help a poor soul to a drop of comfort on a winter 
night." 

Sabina smiled, and thought she should soon be demoralised 
if she listened to Alice. Indeed, she thought her morals 
must be in a shaking condition, considering the efforts 
made to undermine them on all sides. 

" Mr. Orellan is a fine old fellow, though I never liked 
iiim," she thought. " How very convenient a few of those 
Hush-money twenty pounds would be to him and to Mrs. 
Orellan." 

Here, however, she was mistaken. When the old men 
had reappeared on the summit of the cliff, and had ad- 
vanced slowly towards the house, Sabina saw that his old 
uniform navy blue coat had a piece of faded black crape 
pinned round the arm, and on Mr. Rock coming in, he told 
Sabina that poor Orellan had lost his wife. 

" Afflicted, but relieved, probably," said Sabina. 

" I don't know, my dear ! He is afflicted. I don't know 
if there is any relief in the feeling. Folks like what they 
protect and make comfortable ; and if he has lost a care, 
he has lost someone who always looked for his coming back. 
I don't think Orellan has even a dog now — he had one once, 
but the dog put his paws up, and dirtied his trowsers. You 
see sailors grow particular about neatness and cleanliness ; 



Sablna. 359 

it is one of the chief duties on board ship, and comes next 
to godliness. I think he might have a dog, though, now. 
It is such a comfort to have something to love one, my 
child ! " And Sabina, whose feelings were easily aroused at 
that juncture, put her arms round her uncle's neck, and 
sobbed aloud. The thought of Lord Trelusa was in her 
mind, as " something to love one." 

On the following days she went out and made her 
abode in the clefts of the rocks. She was not compelled to 
employ herself, and she preferred being idle ; a sign of the 
sickness of her mind, for her natural disposition was ex- 
cessive activity. 

It was not cold when she got into some sheltered nook, 
where she would sit listlessly for hours. She tried to take 
interest in the smuggling question that occupied the old 
sailor friends; but her sick heart refused to care for any 
subject but one — Lord Trelusa was all in all to her. 

Her mind was engrossed by this all-prevailing topic one 
day as she sat in the seat she usually chose, from its being 
retired and sheltered. To attain unto it, she had to pass 
round a point of rock, where the footpath retreated inward, 
and the part to which her hands clung overhung the 
sea, beating a hundred feet below. She liked the danger of 
the access, and felt convinced she should have her retreat 
uninvaded. 

There was ample space to stand or sit when this small 
cavern in the bay was reached; and there she spent her 
hours of wasted time. 

One day she heard some fragments of rock falling with a 
splash into the ocean below — that space of deep water so 
deeply green. To her dismay, she saw Lord Trelusa cling- 
ing to the points of rocks round which she managed to pass 
harmlessly, but which his added size and weight made a 
process of great danger. 

She was silent, knowing that a cry or exclamation might 
precipitate his fate, and watched him breathlessly till he 
achieved his difficult undertaking, when, with an impulse 
that seemed irresistible, she seized his arm and drew him 
as far as possible from the edge of the cliff, with a fervent 
"Thank God." 

His face was pale, for he had seen his peril in the rotten- 
ness of the stones to which he clung, when it was too late 



360 Sabina. 

to retreat, and in his heart he echoed the expression of 
thankfulness. He was very grave, too ; for he knew not 
how Sabina would receive him, and if he had to speak of 
love, he had also to tell of death — of the death of her who 
had interfered by her gentle majesty of virtue to rescue 
Sabina from his stratagems and violence. 

" You are glad I am safe?" he said timidly, sitting down 
by her side. His lips were trembling with agitation, and 
Sabina could not refuse him a seat by her side which his 
nervousness seemed to render necessary to his safety. 

" Why are you come here ? " she said, not replying to his 
question. " It is very wrong in you to come — insulting to 
me — false to your wife." 

He told her all — how he had been led into a marriage 
with Mabel Snow, whom he had pitied, but never loved 
— how he had never felt for any woman the passionate love 
which filled his heart for Sabina. He spoke of his release 
from thraldom by poor Mabel's death, concealing, from pity 
to the deceased, her attempt on the life of his child. He 
spoke of her tenderly, and Sabina wept over the fate of her 
early friend. Then, his arm stealing round the girl's slender 
waist, he entreated her to be his — to give him an answer 
at once. He implored her not to keep him in suspense. 

Sabina was troubled in mind, from a simple circumstance 
which made every word he spoke seem as if coming in a 
dream. 

She was miserable lest he should not round the point of 
rock safely in returning, yet did not like to express that 
degree of interest in his safety that would account for her 
nervousness. 

She put away the encircling arm gently, and said, " I 
cannot talk to you here. We will return to the Abbey Farm, 
if you please — at any event, not here." 

" She fears me," he thought, with a feeling of mortification. 
" She cannot forget that she had cause to do so." 

He withdrew his arm, and suggested to Sabina to precede 
him round the point of rock. 

" I have already displaced some of the stones and loosened 
some others, and if more fall from my weight, the return will 
be more dangerous for you." 

He looked up at the cliff, to see if there were any means 
of ascending it, but it was hopeless. 



Sabina. 361 

" I think I would rather you went first ; so little supports 
me, and I am so used to it." 

He obeyed her, and arrived safely on the other side of 
the point, and then Sabina followed with a lighter spirit. 
They descended to the beach, and walked over the quiet 
yellow sands, unmarked by any footsteps save their own. 
N ow, that he had hope of winning Sabina for his wife, she 
was as safe from importunity in his company as if her uncle 
were by her side. 

'"Sabina, will you marry me?" 

"No," she replied gravely and promptly. 

"Not?" he exclaimed, with a cry of astonishment and 
terror. "Not marry me? Why, you love me, Sabina — I 
know that you love me," and as he gave that assurance to 
himself he felt more satisfied. " I saw how pale you were 
when I rounded the point of the cliff. It is nonsense to 
refuse me — -quite foolish to say so," and he was growing 
rather angry at the recollection of that prompt " No." 

" I do not deny that I love you, Lord Trelusa, but I do 
not love you well enough to marry you and spend with you 
the rest of my life. I could not trust — pardon me, I do not 
want to go into particulars ; be satisfied with the simple 
denial, and do not let us discuss the question." 

" You are very hard, Sabina. I am not a bad fellow, take 
me altogether. Hang it ! no one is perfect. There are 
many in this world with fewer temptations, who are much 
worse than I am." 

" I don't know with what manner of men you must asso- 
ciate, Lord Trelusa," said Sabina, with her eyes flashing fire, 
"but when I think of the events of the last six weeks, and 
particularly of those on one night, when I left the shelter 
and protection of your mother's society to return, as I 
thought, to my own home — when I remember the extraor- 
dinary heaviness and stupor with which I was overwhelmed, 
after those French sweetmeats, of which no one partook but 
myself — when I recall my struggles, my cries for help, and 
your efforts to render them unavailing, I cannot but feel 
insulted by your having inflicted your company on me on 
this occasion. Heaven has, ere this, I trust, repaid to that 
pure-minded woman who saved me from your violence, a 
hundredfold for her kindness to me. No irritation against 
one, whom she knew to be her rival, had any effect in 



362 Sabina. 

diminishing her benevolence. She wrapped her own cloak 
over my dripping and shivering frame, and treated one, who 
had diverted from her her husband's fickle fancy — ('tis 
profanation to call such a feeling love) — not as an enemy, 
but as a sister. I tell you truly, I do not love you suffi- 
ciently well to forgive the insults you have offered to a de- 
fenceless girl." 

Lord Trelusa was silent. He was angry and mortified. 
He had not thought she would have suspected the sweet- 
meats to have been drugged ; nor would she have done so, 
had she not overheard, before she quite recovered, some 
words exchanged between Lord Trelusa and his valet, the 
treachery of whom his lordship had not then discovered. 
Lord Trelusa had desired him to see if any had been left in 
the postchaise, and desired that they might be destroyed, 
lest anyone else should partake of them. 

He loved Sabina, and was resolved she should marry him ; 
but he was sagacious enough to see that the moment, when 
she had increased her anger by the enumeration of her 
wrongs, was not that in which he could successfully plead for 
her forgiveness. So they walked along in silence towards 
the house, when Sabina ventured an inquiry after the health 
of Lady Sarah, which he answered curtly, and relapsed into 
silence. 

Sabina left him when, as they drew near the Abbey Farm, 
they overtook Mr. Rock, who had not been aware of his 
lordship's arrival, and received him with a degree of cordial 
wonder. 

"Anything stirring in the political world, my lord? I 
suppose we must not ask who is to occupy the seat left 
vacant by your removal to the Upper House ? " 

Lord Trelusa gave him sundry bits of information, which 
gave the lieutenant a feeling of importance as he thought of 
communicating them to Orellan. 

Wilfred then went on to say, that his thoughts were not at 
present occupied by the duties of his new position — the 
truth was, that his hopes of happiness were centred in the 
desire he felt to obtain the favour of Miss Rock, and the 
possession of her hand in marriage. Might he ask Mr. 
Rock for his consent to win his niece ? 

The old man was completely taken aback. 

" Eh ! What ! my lord ! Surely I do not understand. My 



Sabina. 363 

niece ! a mere child ! Your lordship must remember 'tis 
only a month or two ago when you kindly sent her home, 
silly child — well, it might be a year — two years. But, dear 
me, she's too young — I assure you, she is much too young 
for anyone to think of marrying her for the next five years." 

If anyone had proposed to Mr. Rock to take from him 
his ninety pounds a-year, and leave him destitute in the 
world, he could not have been more concerned than he was 
by Lord Trelusa's proposition to make his niece a peeress. 

His own darling ! What right had anyone to take her 
away from him ? She loved him better than any lord in the 
land, he knew, and she was to him as dear as daylight to his 
eyes. 

But his second thoughts were less selfish. First, Lord 
Trelusa assured him that more than five years had elapsed 
between his visits to Deepindale; and that Miss Rock, 
being turned of sixteen, might be called seventeen. This 
Mr. Rock objected to as a subterfuge. However, it did not 
matter, as the question was only discussed between the two 
gentlemen. Then Mr. Rock remembered that he was in 
his seventy-second year, and that he had no fortune — -no 
provision, in fact, beyond the few hundreds left of his prize- 
money for her support. These considerations made him 
very thoughtful and sad. 

" She is my pet lamb," he said ; " she is the only bit of 
pleasure I have in the world. 'Tis hard to give her up to 
this handsome young man, who is titled and wealthy. Why 
should he have everything, and I nothing?" 

But he said if his niece consented, he should be happy to 
confirm it by his own. 

" I assure you, Sir," said the artful peer, " though Miss 
Rock is, in my lover-like eyes, perfect in all her own exceed- 
ing grace and virtue, a great inducement to make her my 
wife is afforded by the connection it will give me with one 
so distinguished for his valour and high character, as a 
gentleman and man of honour, as Mr. Rock." 

The old lieutenant coloured and bowed low at the flat- 
tering speech. He did not believe it; but it proved that the 
young lord loved Sabina so well as to wish to propitiate her 
old uncle, he thought. 

When Lord Trelusa left Saint Eve, he shook hands cor- 
dially with Mr. Rock, and held his hand timidly towards 



364 Sabina. 

Sabina to receive hers. She could not refuse it without at- 
tracting unpleasant observation from her uncle ; but she 
yielded it so coldly that the young lover knew that no for- 
giveness was implied by that act of courtesy. 

It was a strange phase of human feeling, but not at all 
unnatural, that Sabina, whose tender relentings towards the 
man who had intended her such deadly injury were un- 
governable, when she thought him utterly placed beyond her 
reach by the circumstance of his marriage with Mabel Snow, 
should, when she saw him at her feet, recoil from him whom 
she loved, but for whose character she had a contempt. 

When they had finished their tea that evening, and Sabina 
had set out the chessmen, Mr. Rock, instead of taking the 
two pawns within his ample hands, to give Sabina the choice 
which was to determine the move, pushed back his chair 
from the table, and looked at his niece sadly. 

" She really does look older than I thought," he said to 
himself, after some considerable time spent in meditation. 

He was swelling with his feeling of importance. He did 
not know that Trelusa had been pleading his own cause ; 
besides he had become aware of various little bits of in- 
telligence on political matters, confided to him by the young 
lord, with which he meant to overwhelm his friend Orellan 
next day. 

Altogether, he was not unhappy, but very busy in his 
mind. 

" My dear ! " and he cleared his throat. " Sabina ? " 

The girl, who had no idea that Lord Trelusa had ventured 
to speak to her uncle after her decided refusal, thought, 
'•What has the old darling got into his head now? There 
can't be two grand pianos." 

" Sabina, Lord Trelusa came here to-day to speak to me 
on a point — a very important point as regards his happiness, 
he says — in fact, my dear, he wants you to be Lady 
Trelusa." 

" Indeed ! " replied Sabina. " I am exceedingly obliged 
for his politeness, and I prefer to be Sabina Rock." 

Her voice had a scoffing tone in it, which filled her uncle 
with amazement. 

Sabina was indignant with Lord Trelusa for his applying 
to her uncle in spite of her refusal, and thereby running the 
risk of embroiling her with her only relative, who might 



Sabina. 365 

naturally resent her refusing an offer, of which the advan- 
tages were so patent, and the evils so unseen. 

" My dear ! " said he, at length, (i you know when a man 
asks a girl to marry him he does her great honour, pays her 
a great compliment. I'm sure I don't want to lose you, 
Sabina" — and his voice became unsteady — " but I can't 
live much longer, my dear, and I am very poor, too poor to 
leave you anything sufficient for your own support when I 
am gone." 

" Never mind that, uncle." 

There was a silence. At length he continued, " Do you 
dislike him ? He is very handsome." 

" Very," she agreed. 

'' Very good-natured and courteous in his manner ? " 

" Very." 

" He must love you, you little witch, for it will be a match 
which the world will consider below him, though the Rocks 
are of a good family and pure descent." 

" Would it, uncle ? But the world will never have the 
opportunity of criticising his choice in my case, as I shall 
not marry him." 

" Sabina ! " in a penetrating tone ; " there must be some 
reason for your refusal." 

A long silence. The girl was worried, and irritated at 
having her feelings thus tested. 

"I am sure you seem to me too young; but I don't un- 
derstand the Avays of women, I suspect. Oh, Sabina ! tell 
me the truth ! " 

Sabina was in agony lest he should probe too near the 
truth. 

" Well?" she said, in desperation. 

" I suspect that you must love that long-legged high- 
shouldered fellow who preaches in the conventicle ? " 

Sabina laughed a laugh of relief, but she was but feminine 
after all, and the laugh became ungovernable, and ended in 
tears and sobs, and then bitter laughter again. 

She was a sensible girl, however, and she retired to her 
room and dipped her head into cold water two or three 
times, and returned shaking the moisture from her dark 
curls, " like dew drops from the lion's mane." She thought 
it was better to relieve her uncle's mind, and settle the 
matter at once and for ever. 



366 Sabina. 

He was still sitting with a puzzled look of distress on his 
face. He knew nothing of women but what he remembered 
of his dear strong-minded mother, who kept her tears for 
her own chamber, and had never more than a wan smile on 
her face after the death of her husband, and was not likely, 
therefore, to go off in an hysterical fit of laughing and crying. 
She was too old for that when he knew her ; and Valerie ? 
Alas ! his imagination only had been able to supply what 
her conduct had been in distress and disappointment. Thus 
he was puzzled, and feared to speak lest he should do more 
harm than good. 

" Dearest uncle," said the girl, coming in with a watery 
smile, and very red eyes, " I think you might speak more 
respectfully of our host." Here a little laugh made her stop 
and swallow down a disposition to cry. " I confess to his 
having long legs and high shoulders, but he is very hand- 
some and very good. I do not love him, however, and I' 
could not marry him. Set your mind at rest on that point ; 
besides, he has not asked me to marry him ; and it is a little 
premature to declare I will not do so." 

Sabina was stringing words together to gain time. 

" Will you tell me your objection to Lord Trelusa? " said 
her uncle. "Pray, my dear, confide in me; you cannot 
have a tenderer friend." 

How much she loved him ! Yet she never could have 
told him what was in her mind, even had she not feared, as 
in this instance, he would act with hostility towards her 
lover, did he know the extent of the intended wrong. 

" Uncle," said she, at length, " when you live as a guest 
with people who are kind to you, do you not think it is 
treacherous to reveal the opinions you form of their conduct, 
which is commented on by the guest who sees the people in 
all the undress of their domestic life, when they are not 
made up for company." 

Mi - . Rock was in the clouds. He had never been made 
up for company in his life, otherwise than in putting on his 
best uniform coat when he went on board the Admiral's 
ship. That honest old man had never had anything to con- 
ceal from friend or foe. Sabina [ saw she must illustrate 
her meaning by an instance. 

" Uncle, could you ever love a woman who told you a 
falsehood ? " 



Sabina. 367 

This was vial apropos. If sent the old man's memory 
wandering tenderly to Valerie. Supposing Valerie had 
made a little slip in her truthfulness, had told her mother 
that she was going out to buy a yard of ribbon, when it 
was really to see the boat come off from the ship — the boat 
which she trusted might contain him ? So he answered 
doubtfully, "My dear, I might overlook one sin against 
truth, but not a habit of lying." 

" Oh, uncle ! suppose when you were commanding a ship 
of your own " 

" I never did command a ship of my own, my dear ; only 
when the 'Star' was refitting at Plymouth, and the com- 
mander was away on leave, and I had the duty as first-lieu- 
tenant." 

" Well, suppose under those circumstances the second- 
lieutenant told you an untruth ? " 

"An untruth !" said the old man in a voice of thunder. 

"Yes, uncle, a lie." 

" Why I should say he was a dirty dog and no sailor," 
said the old man, flushing at the possibility. 

" I do not wish to marry Lord Trelusa," said Sabina 
again, quietly, and her uncle gave a long whistle, which had 
no particular tune in it at the beginning, but went off into 
"All ye jolly sailors bold, whose hearts are set in honour's 
mould." 

"I wish I could get a sailor for her," he thought. "She 
is worthy to be the wife of one." He imagined that she 
had detected Lord Trelusa in untruths. " Maybe that he 
would lie through a nine-inch plank," thought he. " She is 
right to refuse him ; a liar is as bad as the dry rot in a ship 
— can't tell where 'tis sound and where unsound. All fair 
outside, all crumbling within." 

" Uncle," said Sabina timidly, " perhaps you would not 
mind writing to Lord Trelusa to tell him I cannot marry 
him. Perhaps he may come again for a verbal answer, and 
that would be painful, or at any event unpleasant to him 
and to me." 

" Certainly, if you wish it," said her uncle, " but it would 
come with more decision from yourself. Suppose you write, 
and I will enclose it with a few lines. You see he has been 
very civil to me, poor fellow ! " 

Mr. Rock did not like the occupation. When he had 



368 Sabina. 

seen a man flogged on board ship he flinched from every 
cut of the cat, as if it had been his own back which was 
lacerated, and when the executioner swung himself round 
to give more impetus to the lash, the sensitive lieutenant 
quivered over all his frame, and turned sick and faint, a 
feeling which was shared by many an iron-limbed sailor 
besides. 

But Sabina could be obstinate sometimes ; the old leaven 
had not died out entirely. She could not write herself, she 
felt, without showing some relenting of tenderness. 

Mr. Rock had to give way ; and, after spoiling so many 
sheets as to make him hope that Sabina would never entail 
on him again a similar expense from a similar cause, he 
wrote as follows : — 

"My Lord, 

" My niece and I are very sensible of the honour 
you propose to confer on us by making her your wife. I 
regret to say that for some unexplained cause she is unwilling 
to alter her present conditio^, of life, and begs me to say 
that, with your many advantages, you have the power of 
choosing one who is your equal in rank and more fitted for 
the sphere in which you will move. She expresses the 
most fervent wishes for your future happiness, and says she 
must be ever grateful for the kindness with which she has 
been treated by Lady Sarah Trelusa. I have the honour 
to be 

"Your lordship's most obedient 
" Humble servant, 

"Michael Rock." 

He did not show the letter to Sabina. He felt rather 
afraid of the criticism of this child. "If she don't like it," 
he thought, " I shall have to write it over again, and this 
would be the fifth sheet of letter-paper I have spoilt — 
eighteen-pence a quire, and very coarse too for the money." 

Neither did he show the answer. Where was the use of 
worrying her with it. The old man had calculated when it 
would come, and called at the post himself. This love 
affair was tending to demoralise Mr. Rock. Not that he 
had made up his mind not to show it. The truth was, that 
he had gone over the words of his composition so fre- 



Sab in a. 36g 

quently, that they failed to convey much meaning to his 
mind, and was doubtful what conclusion Lord Trelusa 
would come to on reading it. If he were a very determined 
lover he might not take such a " no " for an answer, and 
Mr. Rock felt that his niece meant no, and would be vexed 
with him for not having conveyed it explicitly. 

Sabina was satisfied when she had explained herself and 
put the matter into her uncle's hands. 

Lord Trelusa was more in love than ever, and less likely 
to give up his determination to marry Sabina. Had she 
accepted him, even after a show of hesitation, he might, 
after his first burst of joy, have seen reason to doubt the 
wisdom of his choice, but her spirited refusal to become his 
wife had enhanced her value in his eyes, and made him 
more than ever determined to overcome her reluctance. 

He wrote courteously to the old lieutenant, telling him 
that deeply as he regretted the temporary delay to his happi- 
ness conveyed in his letter, he should never, whilst the affec- 
tions of Miss Rock remained otherwise unengaged, consent 
to forego the hope of calling himself his son-in-law. To 
Sabina he poured out all his passionate entreaties that she 
would forgive him, and consent to be his. 

"To Sabina. 

"An unspeakable depression seized me when I 
received your uncle's letter. I am not usually the prey to 
presentiments, but I felt on this occasion that some mis- 
fortune was looming in the distance. Had I not felt how 
great would have been the insult, I should have liked to 
send it back, and say, — ■' Do not let me have an answer yet. 
Think well before you decide. You have written too 
speedily for my happiness.' But I have read the repeti- 
tion of the refusal you compelled him to write. I know 
the kind-hearted old man hated the occupation of depriving 
me of all hope. 

" Have you no pity, Sabina ? I think your unawakened 
heart has no perception of the agony you inflict. I might as 
well discourse to a native of Iceland of the horrors of the 
arid sands and the vertical sun in the torrid zone. 

" I have loved you, too, so long and so tenderly. When 
you clung round my neck as a little child — when kneeling 
at my feet you entreated me innocently to take you home 
24 



37° Sabina, 

to live with me. When you grew up, your beauty, your 
wonderful musical talents, enchained me, — all the nameless 
perfections which I see not in any other woman, though I 
have had the elite of London society to choose from for 
years past. 

" I was at a party some time since. A grand ball, in a 
brilliantly-lighted saloon ; a corridor, with, marble pillars, 
led to it; and each column was hung with encircling 
wreaths of beautiful flowers. I fancied myself like one of 
those pillars, so cold and unmoved and insensible to the 
loveliness of the fragrant creatures who surrounded me. I 
only observed them to compare them with the half-child, 
half-woman, I had left at Deepindale, and to pronounce 
them to be immeasurably your inferiors. 

"But you can never have responded to the passionate 
love I bear you. Did you do so you would have pardoned 
me the fault which arose from that passion's intensity. You 
weary of my professions. I can see you in imagination 
skimming over these words, not reading them, not under- 
standing half the meaning they would convey. You read 
them, I know, as you would a language of which you under- 
stand a few words only, and do not think it worth while to 
take the trouble to find out the whole signification. I do 
not ask you to see me again as yet. I do not ask for an 
answer. I will not read the answer if you send it. I will 
merit your love, and when weeks have passed over, and 
your just indignation is mollified, I will ask again for your 
pardon — for your hand. 

" Trelusa." 

Mr. Rock said nothing of his letter, and Sabina placed 
hers in her desk at the close of the day. When she received 
it in the morning she laid it in her bosom, whilst she made 
the breakfast for her uncle ; boiled the egg to an instant, 
and toasted his bread as no one but herself could. Then 
when her uncle went out to go his rounds with Mr. Orellan, 
she took her usual station in the recess of the cliff and read 
and re-read her lover's letter. 

She loved him, and she kissed the characters his hand had 
traced and the paper on which it had rested, but she did 
not repent of her determination. She was too subtle not to 
see how selfish was the passion which had actuated him. If, 



Sabina. 371 

she thought, a man were to take the woman he professes to 
love and fasten her up in the crowded streets in some ridi- 
culous dress or position, making her, without any fault of 
her own, a mark for the finger of scorn to point at, a subject 
of scoffing and derision, I wonder whether she would accept, 
as an excuse, that he did it out of the intensity of his love for 
her. Here is a man who would have placed me in a far 
worse state, who would, by force, have compelled me to 
forego the society of the pure of my own sex ; and more 
than that, would have broken my uncle's heart in this world 
by the disgrace he had brought on me, and endangered my 
eternal happiness in the next, because he believed that he 
loved a girl with a smooth skin and brown eyes, and could 
not forego the gratification of his desire. 

The result of this deliberation on Lord Trelusa's conduct 
was, that Sabina took the letter from her breast, and quietly 
and softly tore it to pieces bit by bit, and watched it fly 
away over the cliff ; some fragments loitering a few minutes 
entangled in the sponge-like blossoms of the sea pink ; some 
nestling in the recess of the cave, beaten against the surface 
of the cliff, too high for Sabina's reach, where, for days 
after, they disturbed her by their presence, which kept 
alive, too vividly for her comfort, the remembrance of the 
writer. 




24- 



CHAPTER XLIII. 

"See nations slowly great, and meanly just, 
To buried merit raise the tardy bust." 

Johnson. 




pORD TRELUSA had hit on an idea that he consi- 
dered particularly lucid. In conversation with 
Sabina at Tregear, he had frequently led her to 
speak of her uncle's services in action, because he 
:njoyed to watch her kindling eyes, as she narrated some 
ict of heroism by which Mr. Rock had distinguished him- 
;elf. Most of these anecdotes she had heard from Mr. 
Drellan, for her uncle seemed to consider it disgraceful to 
;peak of anything which might be considered to infer self- 
commendation. Mr. Orellan had told her how, in a fearful 
itorm in the Bay of Biscay, a vessel was seen labouring in 
he gale, and firing repeated signals of distress : how the 
captain looked in silence on the ruthless waves, and thought 
10 boat could live in such a sea : how Lieutenant Rock 
mtreated permission to try to save the crew, and the captain 
;aid he would order no one to go ; they might volunteer 
vho liked to risk their lives. Then Lieutenant Rock ap- 
Dealed to the men, and they were silent. He called aloud, 
' My lads, will you see those brave fellows go down, and 
nake no effort to save them ? " And then how two men 
mly out of the crew answered from the mast-head, and the 
Doat was safely lowered, and the seamen held their breath 
is it dipped in the trough of the sea, or quivered on the 
:rest of the billows. Three times did that gallant little 
:rew commanded by Lieutenant Rock return to the sink- 
ng ship, and bear away her almost despairing crew, till, 



Sabina. 373 

in the last venture, the boat was nearly engulphed in 
the swell of the devoted vessel as, like an animal 
wounded in the brain, it rushed madly round and 
round, ere it sank for ever. What cheers rang through the 
vessel when the last cargo were brought up the ship's side ! 
what eager hands enclasped those of the lieutenant and sea- 
men who had so nobly devoted themselves ! 

"Your promotion is safe, Rock," said the captain. "Your 
fortune is made ! " 

Alas ! the recommendation was passed unnoticed by the 
Admiralty. 

On another occasion, Mr. Rock had been sent home in 
command of a prize, and being attacked by the enemy with 
a superior number of guns, and finding his sailing powers 
inferior to those of the Frenchman. Mr. Rock ran his vessel 
up, and crossed his adversary's bow, so that the vessels 
came on board each other nearly midships. Then Rock 
secured the enemy by a hawser, with which he lashed her 
bowsprit to his own capstan, and the fight raged fiercely all 
through the hours of night, till the morning's dawn lighted 
the victory of the Englishmen, who carried two prizes into 
port instead of one. 

When Lord Trelusa arrived in town, he went to the Ad- 
miralty, and inquired if anyone knew anything of the ser- 
vices of an old officer, Rock by name. His lordship pur- 
posely addressed his inquiry to a veteran clerk, an fait for 
years at the routine of the business, for he knew that to 
younger servants of that useless body, the name was too 
bygone to awaken any remembrance. 

"Rock? let me see. Rock? Ah! yes; I remember; 
has not been afloat these ten or twelve years. Gallant old 
man ! Here is the memorial of his services, modestly put, 
when he humbly petitioned to be employed again." 

Lord Trelusa ran his eye over the memorial. " Good 
Heavens ! Sir ! are men like these set aside and neglected 
in the navy ? " 

" Dozens of them, my lord. They are fine fellows ; but 
what can we do with them all ? Borough interest carries all 
promotion." 

" Oblige me with a copy of this memorial." 

And the obliging clerk supplied it to the young lord. 

Armed with this, he went to the First Lord of the Ad- 



74 Sctbina. 

liralty, and put forth Mr. Rock's claims for the, honour of 
alight Commander of the Bath. He urged it as a per- 
jnal favour to himself, saying that he hoped in a few weeks 
-so soon, indeed, as etiquette for the mourning of his brother 
dmitted — to ally himself to a near relative of the old lieu- 
aiant. 

The request was attended to without any difficulty ; for 
hat could be denied to landed and funded property, rank, 
tid interest ? Lieutenant Rock's virtues and valour might 
ave gone unrewarded to the grave, along with Orellan's 
:rvices, but for the discriminating penetration of the young 
lan who had fallen in love with Mr. Rock's niece. 

There were some usual forms to be gone through, but the 
elay would not extend, he was told, beyond a week or ten 
ays, and Lord Trelusa enjoyed in anticipation the pleasure 
abina would feel in learning the honours of her uncle. 




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CHAPTER XLIV. 

" Fresh and strong the breeze is blowing, 
As yon ship at anchor rides ; 
Sullen waves, incessant flowing, 
Thund'ring dash against its sides. 

" So my heart, its course impeded, 
Beats in my perturbed breast ; 
Doubts, like waves by waves succeeded, 
Rise, and still deny it rest." 

jjABINA spent all the hours of daylight not required' 
by her duties towards her uncle, out of doors on 
the beach, or wandering about the cliffs ; she 
went alone for miles along that desolate coast, 
and knew every cavern and recess within the bay of Saint 
Eve, and round each of the promontories that bound its ex- 
tremities. She saw much without observing, for her eyes 
were with her memory, far away at Tregear, singing with 
Lady Sarah and her lover, or listening to conversation which 
ever trembled on the verge of confessed passion on his part. 
The smuggling vessels, who held out to sea during the day- 
light, used with their glasses to detect the white figure of 
Sabina — for the light gingham dresses showed white at a 
distance : she was always there ; always alone ; and they 
believed her, not unreasonably, to be a spy in the interest 
of the preventive officer, Captain Orellan. Inquiry con- 
firmed the suspicion — inquiry amongst those who favoured 
the contrabandists, conveyed to them the fact, that Miss 
Rock's uncle and Captain Orellan were staunch friends, and 
always laying their heads together to prevent the landing of 
the tubs of liquor, or to seize them when landed. However, 



'6 Sabina. 

Leir names were legion, and Captain Orellan had but twelve 
ien at his command, and he was not well assured that there 
ere *iot traitors in that little company, small as it was. 
-ike an unhappy general of modern days, he had to fortify 
)o large a tract of country with his small force. He could 
ivide them in fours, and keep with him the least loyal, to 
verawe them by his presence ; but, whilst he was in one 
art of the bay, the daring free-traders ran their little boats 
pon another part of the beach, and at a preconcerted and 
reviously-delivered signal from the vessel, the country 
eople came down in companies, with horses, mules, and 
onkeys, and loaded them with the kegs, or, if such means 
f transport were not at hand, with long tough poles they 
ung the kegs or tubs between them on their shoulders, 
ad carried them in triumph inland. The darker the night, 
le greater the traffic in the forbidden fluid, for, by the cover 
f the obscurity, the smugglers could manage to land their 
irgo where their brethren on shore could find it ; they both 
aving the advantage of a perfect knowledge of the locality, 
htilst, to prevent his men from being tampered with by 
Dcial influences, Captain Orellan was compelled to obtain 
lem from a distant part of the county. 

The captain was unpopular. The service in which he 
r as engaged made him so, and neither his manners nor his 
:mper were likely to make friends amongst those who knew 
ot his real worth. The good sense of the country, more- 
ver, had declared itself in favour of free-trade, by the want 
f sympathy it showed toward those who obstructed the 
fforts made to oppose the tax imposed by government, 
"he people liked spirits at a cheap rate, and woe to him 
r ho attempted to prevent them from obtaining their ac- 
ustomed supplies. 

There was, moreover, a charm in the wild life of the 
muggier which captivated the young and brave by whom 
leir vessels and boats were manned ; and even by the ma- 
istrates who committed them to trial, and. by the judges 
pho condemned them to death, these wild sons of the sea 
rere regarded with pity, and never considered in the light of 
lieves. 

One evening, when the wintry sun was sinking into the 
cean in a circle of fire, and a soft gray mist hung over the 
md and sea, Sabina was warned by the evening light that 



Sabina. 377 

she ought to be at home to welcome her uncle on his return 
to the Abbey Farm. She was on the sands, and hastened 
along by the side of the cliff, as the tide had risen since she 
came out, when she heard the sound of a rough song come 
on the quiet air, joined to the splash of the oars, and saw a 
boat come round the horn of the bay, beyond which the 
lugger lay, from which the crew were bringing part of her 
cargo. They came up near where Sabina was standing ; but 
occupied by their song and their boat, they noticed her not. 
She was wise enough to remain motionless ; any flutter of 
her petticoat or shawl would have betrayed her ; and as they 
were between her and her home, she was obliged to wait till 
they had achieved their undertaking and pulled off again. 

Sabina saw their faces distinctly, and observed, with a 
shudder, that one who seemed to command the boat was 
the former gamekeeper at Tregear, who had excited Mr. 
Tresillian's wrath by addressing her on her return home the 
day when she had been in the plantations at Tregear. He 
had been dismissed from his situation in consequence of the 
supposed insult offered to Sabina, and being without a re- 
commendation to another service, he had joined a smuggling 
vessel, and had been sent in command of the boat. 

The song they sang was spirited, and the words were 
distinctly audible to the girl, who trembled as she listened, 
lest she should be discovered by those lawless men. 

SMUGGLERS' SONG. 

ist Verse. 
" A blustering night and a rolling sea, 

When the moon goes down and the craft rides free ; 
Then we pitch the kegs till the boat is full, 
And, ' Hist ! away ! with a pull ! boys, pull ! ' 

Chorus. 
" Pull, boys, pull ! no cause for fear, 
The country is quiet, no land sharks near." 

znd Verse. 
" The old wife sits in the chimney nook, 
Nursing on knee the Holy Book ; 
One eye she turns to the skies without, 
For the night is dark — strange steps about ; 
A tap at the door — there are spirits near ; 
But they are not the spirits old women fear. 
On her nose comes the dawn of a kindly glow, 
As she sips the drops from the kegs that flow. 

" Then pull, boys, pull ! " &c. 



37§ Sabina. 

3RD Verse. 

" The squire he sits in his lofty hall, 
He hears the whistle, he knows the call ; 
The guineas we find in a hollow tree, 
And the kegs are rolled in stealthily. 
Then back we go to our mates afloat, 
With weary arms to fill the boat ; 
And then we pull, when the boat is full, 
For fortune is kind and bountiful. 

" Then we pull," &c. 

4.TH Verse. 

" There's a wedding goes on at the ancient grange, 
But the bride is coy, and the guests are strange ; 
The parson looks round with a sadden'd gaze — 
No spirits he sees his spirit to raise. 
Hark ! there's a tap ! and a merry brown face 
Cries out ' Amen ! ' to the minister's grace. 
The keg he presents to the friends who preside, 
And the payment he takes is a kiss of the bride. 
Then back we go with an empty boat ; 
The cargo's discharged, and we go afloat. 
Joy to the sailor with pockets full, 
Who skims o'er the sea with a ' Pull, boys, pull ! ' 

" Pull, boys, pull ! " &c. 

It was getting dark ; but Sabina dared not pass the cave, 
because the sailors were constantly coming back from it to 
he boat, in which one man remained. At length the crew 
vere all safely embarked, [and then the girl, too soon for 
)rudence, shot past the aperture, and fled away over the 
)each skirting the cliff. 

"There goes that d d spy," cried one. "She'll tell 

he news to all Saint Eve before an hour is over, and we 
hall have the sharks down on us." 

" Send a bullet after her ! " said another ; and, suiting the 
iction to the word, one of them fired, and the shot just 
;razed her elbow, and then rebounded harmlessly from the 
:liff. She was sufficiently alarmed before ; but her footsteps 
vere now winged by fresh terror. She tried to increase her 
peed, but her steps were now over the dry sand, above 
ligh-water mark, for the sea had diminished her choice of 
)aths. She sank up to her ankles, and could not, without 
in effort, withdraw her labouring feet. At one instant, she 
ancied the boat was returning, and that the men would seize 
aid murder her ; but they were only keeping under the lee 



Sabina. 379 

of the shore. The lights were twinkling in the windows of 
the Abbey Farm as a turn of the cliff brought it within her 
scope of vision. There were safety, and love, and home, 
and she struggled onwards to reach it. 

Long before she had ascended the cliff, she met her uncle, 
hurried and anxious. " Why, Sabina ! child ! Where have 
you been? What has kept you ? Do you know how late it is?" 

Sabina excused herself, somewhat out of breath, as they 
walked towards the house, telling her uncle what had occurred. 

He said nothing ; but walked quicker. "Sabina," he 
said, " you must go to the inn — the ' Ferrers Arms ; ' see 
the landlord yourself, and tell him to send a man and horse 
off directly with a note which I will write to Captain Orellan." 
He wrote hurriedly, and gave her the note. " Now, run ; I 
would send Alice, but you will go quicker, I must go and 
see if the farm servants have all left, as I fear they may have 
done ; if not, I must send to the Quicksand Point, for the 
rest of Orellan's men. He will want them all." 

" Uncle ! uncle ! " said Sabina, with a terrible apprehen- 
sion which she would not put into words. " I shall find you 
here on my return ? " 

" That depends on how long your errand may take," said 
her uncle, with a forced smile ; — " but go, my dear ; obedi- 
ence is a woman's first duty ; we'll talk afterwards." 

She kissed him, and went. She knew how important he 
considered her going, by his sending her, when he was so 
chary of her communication with persons of rank inferior to 
her own. When she reached the small inn, which called 
itself an hotel, and inquired for the landlord, she was shown 
into a room where he sat smoking and drinking with some 
guests who had treated him to some of his own liquor, which, 
to tell truth, had never paid duty to government. Sabina 
waited till he had puffed a high volume of smoke from his 
mouth, and tried to read the address of the letter, but gave 
it up at length, having mislaid his spectacles. Irritated by 
the delay, she read it aloud, and heard many a significant 
'• A-hem !" from the circle of carousers, who surmised the 
order it contained. 

" All right, Miss," with a wink at a man behind Sabina 
'• I'll send directly." But he made no sign of rising. 

'' Are you not going to send at once ? If you are busy, 
I'll go to the stable, and tell one of the men to go." 



3 So Sab ina. 

" 'Scuse me, Miss, no one gives orders in my house, or my 
stable, but myself." 

" Then pray go — for the love of Heaven, go. There may 
be mischief if you don't." 

" Lor' bless your pretty face, there'll be a sight more 
mischief if I do. But give me a kiss," for he was getting 
very drunk ; " 'tis but a forfeit for coming amongst gents that 
are taking their pleasure." 

Sabina twisted herself from his grasp, and fled, hearing a 
roar of laughter from his companions at his disappoint- 
ment. 

" Oh, my uncle ! " she said, as she ran back to the Abbey 
Farm. She scarcely knew what forms her fears were shaping. 
She ran up the steps. " Alice ! Alice ! " but she saw no one. 
Alice had, perhaps, been sent to summon some of the farm- 
servants from their cottages. She ran up into her uncle's 
bed-room, after lighting a candle, and saw an empty space 
over the chimneypiece, and in the corner of the room. The 
pistols and broadsword were gone, which her uncle had one 
day brought from Captain Orellan's dwelling. 

" He is gone ! gone ! " she cried. " Oh, uncle ! how 
could you cheat me so ? How dark it is all along the cliff 
and the beach ! " 

She was thinking of pursuing her uncle, but felt afraid. 
Then the idea of his danger drove her terrors for herself out 
of her thoughts. " I must go and see what has become of 
him. Alice ! Alice ! " She had a wild notion of asking old 
Alice to accompany her, but Alice was nowhere to be seen ; 
so, after a moment's [hesitation, she wrapped a black shawl 
round her, remembering that her light dress had made her a 
clear mark for the pistol of the smuggler, and went out into 
the darkness — away down along the beach — away from all 
the cheering little lights which sparkled in houses in the 
town, and its cottage outskirts, — away from all hope of aid 
from the dwellers therein. 

" Where he is, I must be ! dear old man ! He has no 
business to mix himself up in such scenes ; " and thus stumb- 
ling over fragments of rocks, splashing into the edges of the 
billows as they washed up to her feet, shivering with the cold 
ot a January night, but still more with the apprehension that 
weighed on her heart, Sabina returned towards the mouth of 
the cavern. 




CHAPTER XLV 

' Far off they hear the waves with surly sound 
Invade the rocks, the rocks their groans rebound ; 
The billows break upon the sounding strand, 
And roll the rising tides impure with sand." 

Dryden. 

HEN Mr. Rock had dismissed Sabina on her fruit- 
less errand, he armed himself, intending to join 
Orellan, so soon as he could satisfy himself where 
he could find him. He knew the cavern to which 
Sabina had referred in her report of the smugglers, and knew 
also that it had an outlet running up the interior of the cliff, 
in the direction of the Abbey Farm, of which the aperture 
was kept carefully closed, by faggots of furze and dead 
branches, to conceal it from those not in the secret of the 
contrabandists. He walked along the top of the cliff, that 
small obstacles might not interfere, as they would have done 
had he been on the beach, with his view of the sea. It was 
covered with the soft mist, still retaining a gleam of the set 
sun, and was quickly sinking into a unity of gray colour that 
defied inspection. A few stars began to glimmer in the 
quiet sky, and the sounds from the distant village died away 
in the louder roar of the billows as they advanced towards it. 
He got to the side of the cliff, and peered over it, so that in 
iiis anxiety he had almost toppled over that treacherous 
crumbling edge of the rock. 

There was a flash ! Yes ; that was the single pistol shot 
that called on the men to surrender ; then the report ! Now 
the flashes and reports follow in quick succession. The 
rocks take up the reverberation, and multiply the sharp 



382 Sabina. 

sounds, a million times repeating them. The old man 
shouted, with the enthusiasm of his youth. 

" Courage, my lad ! Fight on, and shoot down the 
scoundrels ! Fight for King George, and your Captain 
Orellan ! " 

Cries and exclamations arose from the water, blended with 
the roar of the sea and the report of the fire-arms. 

"I must join him. He must be in the thick of it. He 
will want a true man to back him. This struggle would 
make an old man young." 

He thought of the covered entrance. They were fighting 
at the mouth of the cavern. Probably Captain Orellan had 
come down to make a seizure of the kegs, and the boat's 
crew returning, a skirmish had ensued. He could get to 
the cave much faster by removing the obstruction artificially 
placed there, and running down the declivity, than in de- 
scending in the dark over the face of the cliff, or returning 
to the gently inclined path from the farm. 

When he reached the opening, generally so carefully con- 
cealed, the furze faggots and poles had been removed. He 
stayed not to wonder why this should be, but rushed on as 
fast as the darkness would permit, till he saw a glimmer of 
light at the end of the covered way. He ran towards it. 
There was a crowd of men and boys, and some unsexed 
women, peering forward with white faces into the cavern, in 
which a couple of torches, their ends pushed into fissures in 
the rock, shed a fitful light. There were oaths and cries, 
and shouts for help. Amongst the voices, Mr. Rock heard 
that of Orellan, in rage and despair, as it seemed to him. 
He tried to push through the crowd which stood between 
him and the affray. A woman caught his arm, and held 
him back, with a Avhisper, — 

" Let them alone. Let them alone. They're doing for 
him!" 

" Scoundrels ! " cried the old man, swinging his arms 
round him and forcing a passage through the crowd. 
" Cowards ! do you stand here, and see a brave man mur- 
dered ? " 

"We don't meddle nor make; 'tis no job of ours," they 
cried. 

But Mr. Rock had thrown himself against every impedi- 
ment, and reached his friend, who stood with his back to 



Sablna. 383 

the cavern, with a face pale but unflinching, defending 
himself with his cutlass against two assailants. Two lay 
dead, or mortally wounded, at his feet. He looked up, 
with a half-smile of welcome, at the familiar " What cheer ! " 
of his friend, who brought down one of the smugglers with 
his pistol ; but the flickering light, playing on Orellan's 
face, showed a frightful contraction of pain that passed 
over it. He staggered forward, and his old messmate 
caught him as he was falling. For an instant the weight 
made him unable to defend himself, and the smuggler, 
snatching Mr. Rock's other pistol from his belt, placed il 
at his breast and fired. The old man fell, mortally wounded, 
by the side of his old companion. The fight was over, 
and the smugglers had won. 

The kegs, already deposited at the head of the cavern, 
were carried off by the crowd without, who being liable tc 
imprisonment and transportation, or if, as in this case, blood 
was shed, to the punishment of death — hurried off, leaving 
the wounded men without aid, and at the mercy of the 
tide, should it rise so high as to lift their helpless bodies 
and carry them seaward. 

The smugglers made off to their ship. There would be 
a " hue and cry " soon. They took up their wounded and 
dead men lest any traces about them should lead to the 
prosecution of their own families, and the discovery of more 
of their gang. 

The tarred rope torches flared their red light above the 
heads of the two old friends, now left in the solitude of thai 
cave of death. Mr. Rock, though gasping for breath, ad 
dressed a few words to Orellan, who had dragged himsel: 
up to the side of the cavern, against which he supported 
his head. 

" We are near port now, old messmate. 'Twill soon be 
over with us both. You have sacrificed yourself for me, 
Rock. Well ! I would have done as much." 

" I know it." 

And the dying men sought out each other's hand, and 
grasped it with all the force possessed by their languid 
frames. 

There was a pause, for Mr. Rock was thinking of Sabina, 
His companion spoke : 

" I'm glad Betsy's gone," he said, at length. 



384 Sabina. 

Mr. Rock saw his countenance altering. 

" Orellan, can you say a prayer? " he said. 

" Our Father ! " gasped the sailor, looking up. The eyes 
retained their upward look, but they were fixed. Orellan 
had preceded his friend to the ocean of Eternity. 

Mr. Rock stretched out his hand, and gently closed the 
sightless eyes. " Farewell, old trusty friend ! " he said. 
"We shall not be long apart." 

Then he tried to move into an easier position, for the 
pain and suffocation prevented his turning his thoughts 
heavenward. There was no sound now except the roar 
of the sea, and the hissing noise made by the waves as they 
ran up over the sands. He supposed it was about seven 
o'clock — it must have been dark about three hours. He 
wondered whether Sabina had missed him, and if she would 
send any people to look for him and for Orellan. Then 
his thoughts wandered to Deepindale, and he thought he 
was playing chess with his old messmate, but both the 
black and white men were turned red, and the squares on 
the board were red also, so that they knew not where to 
place the men — then he fancied he heard Sabina singing — 

" "Tis night, and the mid-watch is come, 
And chilly mists hang o'er the darkened main," 

and he shivered. Then he dozed for a little, and woke 
with a start of wonder, not remembering where he was — 
awoke and saw Orellan's dead face by his side. 

"Ah, yes, he knew all about it now. Poor fellow," he 
said, looking lovingly at the body. " Oh, if I could kiss 
that dear child once more ! " 

The wish was gratified. Sabina entered the cave by the 
side opening to the sea. She was drenched by the waves 
that rushed up to the sides of the cavern, but her anxiety 
made her insensible to the risk of being washed away by 
their violence. She was dazzled at first by the glare of the 
torches, coming from the intense darkness outside. She 
advanced bewildered, not knowing what to expect, but 
gathering a vague hope from the light and the silence. 

" Sabina," cried her uncle in a choking voice, and she 
rushed forward and flung herself by his side on the sand. 

"Oh, uncle! uncle!" she cried, "where are you hurt? 



Sabina. 385 

Why do you lie here ? and, oh, God ! what is that ? " point- 
ing with a look of horror at the corpse. "Is that Captain 
Orellan ? " 

" It was — my child," gasped Mr. Rock, " but he is gone 
— gone to heaven, I trust — before me." 

" Oh, uncle ! you must not — shall not die ! What can I 
do ? What can I do ? " she cried, wringing her hands. 
" Shall I go and get help? I will run for a surgeon." 

She sprang up, but her uncle held her softly by the arm, 
and at that moment his gentlest touch had the force of a 
giant for her. 

" Tis useless, my child ! I should only lose the comfort 
of having you with me for the last half-hour of my life. Sit 
by my side, Sabina, and lift my head upon your knee, so 
that I may breathe better. I've made a will— twenty pounds 
to poor Susan — the rest, only a few hundreds — prize-money 
— and ^90 to bury me ; perhaps it would defray the ex- 
penses of Orellan's funeral too. If we could be buried to- 
gether, my dear — 'tis foolish — but 'twould seem like com- 
pany — and in the churchyard of Saint Eve, we might be 
near the roaring of the sea — that's nonsense, as we could 
not hear it ; but I should like it, and so I'm sure would he. 
There, that's more comfortable," he said, as Sabina tenderly 
placed his head against her breast. 

These were the last words dictated by consciousness. He 
seemed to slumber, but at length he cried out in a loud 
voice, which caught the echoes of the cavern — 

" Orellan, I am coming ! " 

Sabina listened awe-stricken, but there were no other 
sounds, and the head sunk heavily on her breast. 

She was there with her two dead companions. Was it 
strange that the young girl's brain rocked and reeled with its 
unnatural tension ? The waves were running up the interior 
of the cavern — they might come and wash away the bodies. 
They should not, if she could withhold the corpse of that 
dear old man. She would cling to him — if the waters took 
him, she would die also. Why should she live? Those 
torches were going out — one was already extinguished. She 
should soon be left in darkness, with the sound only of the 
advancing waves, and the company of the dead, yet she 
had no terror of her uncle's corpse, though she shuddered 
at the recollection of Captain Orellan's face as she had last 



3 86 



Sabina, 



seen it. The light flared up suddenly and was extinguished 
and she was left in gloom. She felt for her uncle's heart, 
but it had ceased to beat — there was still warmth about it, 
but the hand she had touched was growing very cold. How 
many hours would there be till daylight ? She knew not— 
she was beginning not to care, and was becoming only 
sensible of exceeding cold and numbness. 




CHAPTER XLVI. 



"I fruitless mourn to him who cannot hear, 
And weep the more, because I weep in vain." 



Gray. 




HEN Sabina recovered consciousness, she was 
being conveyed on a shutter towards the Abbey 
Farm. The unusual movement made her feel 
giddy, as did the swinging of the lanthorns 
carried by the people who walked by her side. They 
carried her into the kitchen, and she staggered up and said, 
" Where is uncle ? " forgetting for a brief moment her irre- 
parable loss. 

Alice was wiping her eyes with the corner of her apron. 
She said nothing, but Sabina staggered to the door, crying 
out, " I must go and find him," and met the men bringing 
in his corpse. Then she was satisfied, and allowed Alice 
to put her into her bed, and chafe her numbed feet and 
hands, and she was conscious of a feeling of bodily comfort, 
and then she wept bitterly to know that her uncle could 
never again enjoy any earthly pleasure, or any alleviation of 
bodily or mental pain ; but she felt too feeble and ex- 
hausted to suffer much. 

A few days after, when the old farm servant had nursed 
her back to some of her lost strength, grief began its usual 
power of tormenting. She remembered a thousand things 
which she might have said or done which would have made 
him happier ; for even in the extremity of her self-torture 
she could not recollect of late years any intentional unkind- 
ness of act or word. It is this which makes the sting of 
death to the survivors. 

2t — 2 



3 88 Sabina. 

There was much to be done, and she felt very helpless — 
undertakers to be employed — a lawyer, she supposed ; she 
knew nothing of what ought to be done ; but before she 
ivas compelled to act, Mr. Ferrers, informed by Alice of the 
death of Mr. Rock, came back to the neighbourhood of his 
D\vn house, though he respected Sabina's destitution of 
friends and wealth too much to reside under his own roof, 
whilst she remained there. He did more — he went to 
Deepindale and prevailed on the weeping Susan to give up 
:he care of the house to a trustworthy woman, and brought 
\er to his home, that she might impart to, and receive com- 
brt from the destitute girl. 

I do not know that the arrangement produced any amica- 
ble feeling between the two old servants — Alice giving her- 
;elf airs of consequence from having done everything for the 
lear gentleman in the last days of his life, which made Susan, 
vho had spent nearly the whole of hers in his service and 
hat of his mother, frantically jealous. Alice was a younget 
voman, and gave Susan to understand that Miss Rock was 
rery particular, and could not eat her toast if she saw a bir 
)f black fluttering on it, to which Susan retorted, that she 
iad made toast before Miss Rock was born, and there was 
10 occasion to teach her how to prepare Miss Rock's break- 
ast. 

Sabina strove to soothe down the perturbed spirits of the 
)elligerents, by promising them both mourning for her uncle, 
md sending them into the town to procure it for themselves. 
Dver the various articles for choice they became friendly 
igain, and left Sabina at peace. 

Mr. Ferrers saved her all trouble — all anxiety about the 
irrangement for the funeral, and when Lord Trelusa, who 
vas in town, came down immediately on receiving the in- 
;elligence, to see of what use he could be to Sabina, there 
vas no more to be done. 

On the day of Mr. Rock's death, the Gazette came out, 
mnouncing to the world that the King had been pleased to 
;onfer the honour of Knight Commander of the Bath on 
Lieutenant Rock, lieutenant on half-pay in his Majesty's 
service. The old man did not live to hear of the tardy re- 
:ompense of his many services. Lord Trelusa had intended 
:o give himself the reward of telling Sabina this piece of in- 
dulgence, to see her face brighten as she heard it. 



Sabina. 389 

" She shall read it to her uncle out of the paper herself," 
he said, with a not ungenerous impulse. He was becoming 
less selfish from attrition with those to whom that failing was 
unknown. " Then perhaps Sabina will not think so badly 
of me," he continued, but he said it doubtfully to himself ; 
for he knew she judged him with more justice than mercy. 

Both gentlemen sent their names up to Miss Rock, 
asking if she had any commands for them. She declined 
with grateful acknowledgments, and excused herself from 
seeing either. She meant, aftei the funeral, to return to 
Deepindale, and release Mr. Ferrers from her occupation of 
his house ; but before the two-high-minded sailors were laid 
side by side in the churchyard at Saint Eve, Sabina was in- 
sensible from an attack of fever, brought on by exposure to 
the weather, and by the trying scenes through which she had 
passed. 

She was for weeks unconscious of the changes from the 
rush candle at night to the dulled light through the closed 
shutters by day. Time went on, but she took no note of it. 
The two women, frightened out of the indulgence of their 
little asperities, felt they had enough to do in trying to save 
the flickering spark of light which trembled on the lips of 
their patient. 

Lord Trelusa and Mr. Ferrers greAV almost cordial in their 
mutual fears lest death should rob them of the prize so 
coveted by each. 

His lordship had an object which he pursued with stern 
determination. This was the arrest of the ringleaders of 
the smugglers, especially of the ci-devant gamekeeper who 
fired the shot which resulted in Mr. Rock's death. They 
were caught, and three of the principals were tried and con- 
demned to death for the murder of Captain Orellan and of 
Lieutenant Rock. 

Mr. Ferrers could not endure, with his notions, then so 
peculiar, now so universal, that the sentence of the punish- 
ment of death should be carried out on these men. Justice, 
stern and unpitying, however, was to claim her victims, 
unless some great effort were made to arrest its course. 
Lord Trelusa had sufficient influence to divert the punish- 
ment from death to transportation ; but when Mr. Ferrers 
applied to him on this subject, he utterly declined to inter- 
fere. The men deserved their fates for a brutal murder ; if 



39° Sabina. 

they were not hanged, every man who suffered on the 
gallows was unjustly executed. 

It was a grief and mortification to Mr. Ferrers to do any- 
thing which might bring Sabina into correspondence with 
Lord Trelusa, far more that she should ask a favour of him ; 
yet he never flinched from what was right according to his 
idea of duty, and he asked for an interview with Sabina, 
whilst she was yet feeble and exhausted, but sensible. She 
was partly dressed, and laid on the sofa to receive him, 
and awaited his approach with some degree of nervous 
agitation. 

He was shocked to see what an alteration sickness had 
made in her person, but her eyes flashed out with even more 
than their usual brilliancy and size, from contrast with her at- 
tenuated face. She began to talk hurriedly to her companion, 
with excuses for her long intrusion on his property, and ex- 
pressions of hope that she would soon be enabled to return 
home. But at that word, and the thought of the desolate 
house, where her uncle would never more meet her on the 
threshold, she buried her face in her pillow, and wept 
aloud. 

Mr. Ferrers was inexpressibly affected. He longed to 
take her hand, and say "All that I have is yours, do with 
me and it as you will," but he felt it would be ungenerous in 
her present unprotected state, and when, with all her proud 
spirit, she felt herself humbled and at a disadvantage. 

She knew nothing of the prosecution of the smugglers, 
nothing of the circumstances of the murder which had been 
obtained from one of the men who had turned king's evi- 
dence. He told it all, and Sabina sat up on her sofa with a 
flush on her face and a look of impotent rage flashing from 
her eyes, which made her look like a beautiful fury. She 
said nothing, and waited till she heard of the trial and con- 
demnation to death of three of the ringleaders. Then he 
told her of the funeral of the two old officers. How the 
flags on the ships in the bay hung half-mast high — how Lord 
Trelusa attended, and the mayor and corporation, in their 
robes, and how many tears flowed from the eyes of men and 
women when the earth rattled on their coffins, and "Dust to 
dust" was pronounced. 

She spoke at length, her words coming from compressed 
lips- — 



Sabina. 391 

" They wept for them, whose lives they would not stir a 
step to save." 

Mr. Ferrers now took from his waistcoat-pocket some 
trifles which he had taken from that of her uncle after his 
death. Sabina knew them well. She had seen them during 
the occasional illnesses of her uncle placed carefully at n 
exact angle on his dressing-table — a pen-knife, a little end 
of black lead pencil (he had never been able to afford a 
silver one), a well-worn wedding-ring which he had taken 
from the attenuated finger of his dead mother, and a small 
rough cornelian, connected with some tender memory of 
his youth — what none knew. Perhaps he had picked it up 
when walking up from the boat with Valerie one day, and 
it had been hallowed since by her remembrance. Sabina 
seized these treasures. She felt jealous that Mr. Ferrers 
should have touched them. She placed them in the palm of 
her hand and laid her wet cheek on them. Now that her 
heart was softened he thought he would plead for the con- 
demned men. 

He spoke of their hot, ill-trained manhood, and the 
general feeling in favour of their contraband occupation 
which seemed to, though it did not in reality, excuse them. 
He spoke of their confinement in the condemned cell — those 
men, so accustomed to light and sunshine and out-door oc- 
cupation ; and he told Sabina that by her influence with 
Lord Trelusa she might succeed in arresting the course of 
justice, and exchanging the punishment of death to that of 
transportation for life. 

"Never!" cried Sabina. "Those two gentlemen were 
foully murdered by your own account. My uncle was shot 
by his own pistol when he was trying to support his dying 
friend. Hang the ringleaders !" she exclaimed, with a pas- 
sionate cry. " Why, I would gladly hang every man and 
woman also, who looked on at that frightful butchery and 
never stirred to save my poor uncle and his friend. I will 
utter no jargon, Mr. Ferrers, about the benefit to be derived 
to society by the infliction of the punishment of death in 
deterring others from crime. Were I in a desert island, 
where none could be benefited by example or injured by 
future outrage, I should, if I could, destroy those men from 
a feeling of vindictive justice. Do not ask me to forgive. 
I cannot." 



;92 Sablna. 

" ' Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay it,' " 
eplied Mr. Ferrers in a low voice. 

" If we are to wait for a special interposition from Provi- 
lence," said Sabina, " for the punishment of every offence 
gainst life or property, what is the use of law ? " 

" In this case," suggested the minister, " law would take 
are that punishment is inflicted ; but that it shall be of a 
lature to enable the sinner to repent and turn away from his 
wickedness." 

" They gave my uncle no time for thought — no time for 
epentance. Let them die." 

Mr. Ferrers was shocked at the determination of the 
r oung girl, and desisted. 

She then asked eagerly for an account of what money 
emained belonging to her as legatee to her uncle, and for 
iie bills of the funeral of both Mr. Rock and Captain 
)rellan ; also for the memoranda of every expense incurred 
y her during her illness, and for any sums of money spent 
or her by Susan or Alice. 

Mr. Ferrers promised to supply her with particulars, and 
aok his leave. 

She wrung his hand, and wept bitterly at parting, and 
lanked him for his disinterested kindness. She suspected 
ow little the epithet was deserved, but she was not bound 
) seem to understand what he had never expressed in 
rords. 

For kindness she was grateful, but not for the love, 
lowever much we may persuade ourselves that we are, we 
re never really grateful for anything we do not desire to 
ave. 

When all her debts were paid, she found that not much 
lore than five hundred pounds remained for her subsis- 
;nce. It seemed imperative on her to give up the house at 
)eepindale and sell the furniture. What then would become 
f Susan and herself? She thought long and anxiously. 
Ive hundred pounds in the funds in those days meant 
iventy-five pounds a-year. She thought whether she could 
xist in a cottage at Saint Eve, for which she might pay three 
'Ounds a-year rent, and feed and clothe herself with the re- 
minder. Susan would be valuable anywhere as a servant 
o a single gentleman or lady. 

She could not bear the idea of her uncle's poor furniture 



Sabina. 393 

being put up to auction, nor the thought of all the observa- 
tions and sorry jests to be passed on its worn appearance ; 
and she intended to procure a broker who might consent to 
give her a certain sum for it as it stood. In the meantime 
Lord Trelusa had not forgotten Sabina. 

At his suggestion Lady Sarah wrote a cordial invitation to 
her to come and take up her residence with her ladyship, 
which, Lady Sarah said, would be conferring a favour on 
her, as her dear Wilfred thought of going abroad for some 
months and she should be very lonely without a companion. 
" Of course I might have either of my grand-children, my 
dear child," she wrote, "but Edith's voice is scrannel, and 
Adela squints. I must confess that I like to have all I can 
of beauty and talent near me. Do come. You know how 
happily we get on together." 

Lord Trelusa wrote : " If you refuse me the forgiveness 
which I crave, do not let my sin against you make my mother 
a sufferer. You know how much she prefers your society. 
Do not refuse her this pleasure. I will not come to her 
residence, wherever she may choose to make it, without your 
permission." 

Sabina answered Lady Sarah, with due expressions of 
gratitude for her kindness, but declined at present to avail 
herself of her ladyship's invitation. Some intuitive percep- 
tion of Lady Sarah's character showed the girl that she 
would have no more clear idea of her feelings on the subject 
than would one blind from the birth of the different grada- 
tions of colour. 

Lady Sarah, whose lot had been to tread only on the velvet 
path of fortune, and had never had to want for home or 
money or friends, could not enter into Sabina's distresses. 

It was a different thing, that young lady knew, to visit at 
Tregear when she had her uncle's home to return to, and to 
live for ever as a dependant on Lady Sarah's bounty ; besides 
the unpleasant feeling of keeping Lord Trelusa from his own 
seat or placing herself in his way to solicit, as it were, a re- 
newal of his offers of marriage. 




CHAPTER XLVII. 

" In swarming cities vast 
Assembled men to the deep organ join 
The long-resounding voice, off breaking clear 
In solemn pauses from the swelling base." 

Thompson. 

j|N unexpected solution of some of Sabina's difficulties 
occurred shortly after. The place of organist at 
Exeter Cathedral became vacant, and Sabina 
applied for the situation. A trial of the various 
candidates was determined on, and Sabina, unattended by 
any friend, went to that fine old city and performed before 
the churchwardens and such of the magnates amongst the 
dignitaries of the Church, as interested themselves in the 
cathedral musical service. 

Sabina's sad story had predisposed the judges in her 
favour before she appeared, and her beauty, modesty, and 
the deep but quiet and inexpressive mourning in which she 
was attired, increased their admiration. She played well, 
and they were satisfied ; but when her magnificent voice 
pealed through the groined arches and distant aisles of the 
venerable building, they became enthusiastic in her praise, 
and elected her organist at the usual salary of seventy pounds 
a-year. 

" Now I can keep Susan," she said to herself, as with a 
light step she descended the flight of steps leading from the 
church. Before her return to Haven House, she looked at 
and engaged a small cottage on the outskirts of the city, to 
which she had removed such of her uncle's furniture as she 
required, and, happier than she had been since her uncle's 
death, she prepared for her new life. 

She did not answer Lord Trelusa's letter. She feared her 



Sabina. 395 

own want of resolution to continue to say no to a lover so 
determined and strenuous. She turned her attention to the 
improvement of her musical powers, feeling that in instru- 
mental music she had much to learn, though the early 
foundation laid by Mr. Temple had fitted her for the per- 
formance of cathedral service far better than any common 
teaching could have done. He had taught her what he most 
preferred, and as that style had suited the magnificent 
volume of her voice, and its power of long sustentation of 
the notes, she had always practised from choice that style 
which she was now to perform from necessity. 

Her uncle's grand piano was the great comfort of her 
life, and blending its fine tones in skilful combinations, 
Sabina passed many of the hours of summer and winter 
nights. She was companionless, excepting Susan, for her 
cold, self-sustained manner kept at a distance all those who 
would have intruded on her privacy, or sought to draw 
Sabina within their domestic circles. 

Thus two years passed, and Sabina was nearly nineteen, 
but in character and feeling more like twenty-eight. All she 
had enjoyed, all she had suffered in life, was wrapt in silence 
beneath the mask ofher beautiful but impenetrable counten- 
ance. Her ambition was to make her choir the most perfect 
of any cathedral town in England, and she succeeded. The 
Bishop and Dean and Chapter complimented themselves on 
their penetration in having elected so talented an organist, 
and considered the execution of every perfectly performed 
anthem as a credit reflected on themselves. 

Her recreation was to wander alone in the sunsets round 
the most beautiful environs of that city, so rich in undulating 
ground, stately parks, and picturesque views. Then from 
amongst the luxuriant pastures, by the side of the Exe, she 
would look back on the old cathedral, veiled partially in a mist 
of soft purple, and rising majestically from the crowd of inferior 
buildings which surrounded it, till the waning light reminded 
her that old Susan would be uneasy at her long delay. 

She was very tranquil in her life ; and if the thought of 
her lost lover rose sometimes before her too vividiy for her 
peace she sat down to a difficult composition in music, and 
turned her restive memories into hard facts. 

But " her lone and loveless life " was not to continue thus 
for ever. 



396 Sab ina. 

There was evening service at the cathedral, and the anthem 
to be performed was that beautiful one of Kent's, in which 
the words and the music speak equally the necessities of 
human weakness appealing to superhuman strength : and the 
terrors of coming death calling for aid on the Fountain of all 
light and life. Sabina's voice in the first treble pealed out 
through the dim aisles its rich tones of supplication, 

" Hear my prayer. Hide not thyself from my petition ; " 

whilst the congregation listened breathlessly and wept, at the 
voice which seemed to interpret their wants and wishes at 
the throne of grace, 

" My heart is disquieted within me, and the fear of death is fallen upon me." 

In the last movement, which seems triumphant in its con- 
viction of futurity — of a place of rest from trouble, a refuge 
from earthly grief and sorrow — Sabina seemed inspired in 
the earnestness she threw into the wish — 

" Oh that I had wings like a dove ! then would I flee away and be at rest." 

The second treble took it up, and it ended with a perfectly 
executed chorus of voices, at the termination of which even 
the most insensible of the congregation heaved a sigh of 
relief, from their tension of admiration. 

Sabina played out the people to Handel's fine movement 
"The dead shall live;" and as the congregation was a 
numerous one, they were some time in departing, and leaving 
the cathedral clear. Then she wrapt her cloak about her, 
and prepared for her long Avalk in the direction of the village 
of Ede, near which her cottage stood. She had just de- 
scended the last step of the cathedral, when she saw by the 
lamplight a servant, in the Trelusa livery, mounted on a 
horse covered with foam. He touched his hat to Sabina, 
and said, — 

"If you please, Miss, my lady is very ill, and as her lady- 
ship is always asking for you, the doctor said you had better 
be sent for." 

Sabina, whose feelings had been in consonance with the 
words she had poured forth, felt the summons to be like the 
announcement of doom. 



Sabina. 397 

" ' My heart is disquieted within me,' " she said, " ' and the 
fear of death is fallen upon me.' " 

She asked a few questions as to how long Lady Sarah had 
been ill, but the man knew only that the doctor had been 
attending her at Tregear, to which place she had recently 
returned from London for two days only. Lord Trelusa 
had been travelling abroad for some months, he said, and it 
was uncertain when any intelligence of his mistress's illness 
would reach his lordship. 

Sabina felt that she could not hesitate ; and, dismissing 
the servant, with orders for fresh horses at every successive 
post-house, she walked to the residence of one of the church- 
wardens, and, telling him the circumstances, asked permis- 
sion to fill her place at the organ by one of the pupils, of 
whom she had many. 

The churchwarden, much impressed by the title of Miss 
Rock's friend, promised that there should be no fault found, 
should the substitution be disliked ; and then Sabina, re- 
lieved from this anxiety, ordered a postchaise to follow her 
to her home, that she might pack her small wardrobe, and 
inform Susan of her intended absence. 

She did not reach Tregear till the gray light of a sum- 
mer's dawn. The clouds, dappled with pink,, were rolling 
away from the yet unrisen sun, and the old building, backed 
by the full-leaved trees, looked sad and ominous to Sabina's 
apprehension, who could feel no pleasure in the influences 
of morning, when she knew not what those venerable walls 
might conceal. It was a relief to be admitted, and to ascend 
the old oak stairs, and enter on tiptoe her ladyship's room, 
where she slept the troubled sleep of fever. 

Sabina left the room again, drawing Mrs. Stephens, the 
maid, away with her, to try to obtain from her some account 
of her ladyship's seizure ; but the maid could only say that 
Lady Sarah had left town, because, from the death of her 
aunt, Lady Penruddock, she could not, according to eti- 
quette, join in any of the gaieties of the season. Mrs. 
Stephens's own idea was, also, that the death of Lady Pen- 
ruddock, who was about her ladyship's own age, had made 
her nervous about herself. Whether or no that was the 
case, Lady Sarah had complained of headache and general 

indisposition on the journey, and Doctor L • being sent 

for from Exeter had pronounced her to be dangerously ill. 



398 Sabina. 

It was then that her ladyship had called repeatedly for 
Miss Rock ; and the doctor inquired if that were any rela- 
tion to the young lady organist, and finding it was the same, 
he had advised her being sent for immediately. 

When Lady Sarah opened her eyes she saw Sabina, who 
had put on a most cheerful expression of face, lest her friend 
should think that the girl considered her to be looking 
very ill. 

Before she had been many hours by her bedside, she felt 
convinced that the complaint was in a great degree nervous, 
and would give way to cheerful society and fresh objects of 
interest. 

Lady Sarah's face had expressed a great amount of placid 
pleasure at seeing her young favourite again ; and when 

Doctor L spoke of her wonderful talents for music, and 

magnificent voice for singing, her ladyship said that she had 
found out her extraordinary proficiency more than three 
years ago, when she had sung with remarkable power and 
skill at a concert at Deepindale. 

Doctor L returned to Exeter more than ever im- 
pressed by Sabina's merits, as they had been recognised by 
so fine a judge as Lady Sarah Trelusa ; for even the strong- 
minded hesitate sometimes to pronounce an opinion, when 
they feel they will have no seconders to their resolution, 
and give their vote most boldly when they vote with a 
majority. 

Lady Sarah began to sit up, and then Sabina's taste was 
constantly in requisition on the subject of caps and morning 
wrappers. She began to hint that she must return to her 
duties, but her ladyship became so much more indisposed 

in consequence, that Doctor L persuaded her to remain 

a little longer. 

After about a week, Lady Penruddock's jewelry arrived, 
and a large quantity of fine old lace. The jewels were a 
great comfort to the lady, and consequently to Sabina, as 
the way in which they were to be reset afforded many 
days of amusement. 

Nothing had been said by his mother about Lord Trelusa. 
She seemed entirely occupied by her indisposition, and by 
Lady Penruddock's death and legacy. 

After a fortnight had elapsed a change to sea air was re- 
commended ; and, after a feeble attempt to retire from her 



Sabina. 290 

post of nurse and companion, Sabina consented to accom- 
pany her ladyship to St. Eve, where a commodious house 
was engaged for herself and her servants, some of whom 
preceded her thither, that the dwelling might bear an ap- 
pearance of comfort, more like that of her son's residence. 

Many recollections crowded on the mind of Sabina when 
they drove into St. Eve. Those that were sad prepon- 
derated. She had spent many happy hours at the Abbey 
Farm, but also many of unspeakable agony. Lady Sarah 
was pleased by the change, and liked to watch the vessels 
as they passed in and out of the bay, and observe the small 
sailing-boats, looking like illuminated spots on the water, as 
the sun struck their white sails. Part of the day Lady 
Sarah spent in sleep ; and then Sabina hastened out, to have 
the luxury of thinking unrestrainedly. She had been trying 
to save money out of her small income, and for that reason 
had taken pupils. It was slow work that of accumulation, 
however ; and the sum she wanted was, for her efforts to 
obtain, an enormous one. 

She strolled towards the church, in the churchyard of 
which Lieutenant Rock slept quietly, after his life of storms, 
by the side of his friend. She wished to look round the 
church and see if there were space for the monument to her 
uncle, to obtain which she was up early, and so late took 
rest, and ate the bread of carefulness. A woman was 
washing the pavement of the side aisle, and moved her 
pail of water and broom for Sabina to pass. 

"Up this way, if you please, Miss," she said; and the 
girl with a languid wonder why she should be required to 
go one way rather than another, passed on. 

The reason soon became obvious, for a beautiful monu- 
ment of white marble, with a suitable inscription, told the 
spectator that near that spot were buried the mortal remains 
of Michael Rock and Stephen Orellan, with a modest sum- 
mary of the acts of gallantry which had marked the career 
of each, and the friendship which had existed between them 
in life, and which had united them in death. 

Sabina leaned her head unseen against the pillar of the 
church, and wept tears, not altogether bitter, at the tribute 
to her uncle's memory. 

She needed no prompting to reveal the author of this act. 
Mr. Ferrers would not have considered such a sacrifice to 



400 Sabina. 

the dead admissible, when so many living creatures lacked 
food and clothing. It must have been the work of Lord 
Trelusa ; and had he pleaded for pardon with the tongue of 
men and angels, the eloquence, though divine, could not 
have been so effectual as the silent prayer of the insensible 
marble, erected to the honour of her deceased uncle, and of 
the friend he had most loved in his life-time, and whose 
honour he would have preferred to his own. 

Sabina returned very softly to Lady Sarah, and was par- 
ticularly patient and gentle to her for the rest of the day — 
indeed, she was ever sweet and considerate to her ladyship ; 
but on this day she felt that she was indebted to Lord 
Trelusa for the greatest pleasure of which, since the death 
of her uncle, she had been susceptible, and she longed to 
repay it to his mother. 

Her thoughts, however, dwelt on the monument, and on 
him whom it was intended to commemorate ; and Lady 
Sarah, in the course of the evening, observed her preoccu- 
pation and inquired its cause. 

" I have been in the church, and seen the monument to 
Captain Orellan and my uncle," said the girl. 

"All! my dear! Do you like it? Poor Trelusa drew 
the design himself before he went abroad. He was so 
anxious that it should be done well. Does the inscription 
satisfy you ? " 

Sabina expressed admiration and gratitude, as well as her 
choking voice would permit. 

"Poor Trelusa!" continued her ladyship. "He was so 
very much upset at the intelligence of your uncle's death — 
so much disappointed." 

Sabina did not understand the disappointment, and looked 
up through her tears inquiringly. 

"Why you see, my dear, he had been working so hard to 
get the K.C.B. for your uncle, and he had counted on his 
having that little pleasure, and the ' Gazette ' came out that 
very day ! " 

"I thought," said Sabina, with a little natural mortifica- 
tion, " that it had been given to my uncle for his services." 

" And so it was, my dear. Trelusa could not have ob- 
tained it, with all his borough interest, had there not been 
good grounds for its being conferred ; but the good °rounds 
would have told for nothing without interest, or £ would 



Sabina. 



401 



have been given before, and your uncle would have died an 
admiral instead of a lieutenant." 

Sabina tried to say how much she was obliged, but broke 
down utterly. 

Lady Sarah looked at her kindly, but suggested that she 
herself was in weak health, and required cheerful conversa- 
tion. 

In this she was not altogether selfish, for she saw 
that, in the effort to amuse her, Sabina would be most 
likely to forget her own sorrows. 

So the girl fetched the box of lace, and arranged part of 
it for the trimming of a rich dress of gray satin, to be worn 
as half-mourning, when that period should arrive. 

" Ah ! Sabina ! " said her ladyship plaintively. " The 
Countess of S— — ■ gives such concerts ! She has a niece 
who is musical, and sings with all the hired Italians. She 

is no more to be compared to you " 

And Lady Sarah's thoughts went off to future concerts, at 
which Sabina should appear, and display the critical acumen 
of her taste in having brought to light so bright a gem from 
the depths of Cornwall. 

In the meantime Sabina wandered about St. Eve with a 
heavy heart. She avoided the side of the beach, which was 
so fraught with terrible memories ; but she climbed to the 
cleft in the rock where Trelusa had broken in upon her 
solitude. Probably he had forgotten her since then. It 
would be quite as well that he should have done so, for 
Sabina's heart melted with tenderness towards him, when 
she thought of his efforts to please her uncle, and the monu- 
ment which commemorated that uncle's virtues, his gal- 
lantry, and his fate. She did not think of his intended 
crime so much as of the loving eyes that had looked so 
mournfully at her when they had last parted, conveying a 
look of tender reproach for her implacability. 

As she sat and looked out on the turbulent waves rolling 
up and retreating, she saw that their action had undermined 
the granite cliff, and she felt that the continuance of Lord 
Trelusa's passionate efforts to win her love would under- 
mine her resolution, if continued sufficiently long. 

A distant shout of juvenile voices came from inland, and 
Sabina, in returning, saw a troop of boys bounding in their 
delight at freedom from the restraint of school hours. They 
26 



402 Satinet. 

were the scholars clothed and educated out of Mr. Ferrer's 
income of ^1,500 a-year. 

Sabina recognised the grandeur of the self-sacrifice, but 
she could not love the man ; her heart yearned for the softer 
features of Trelusa's character. Mr. Ferrers would never have 
conceived the idea of the crime which Lord Trelusa had 
nearly perpetrated ; but Mr. Ferrers would have thought the 
effort to obtain the small honour for her uncle (small, as 
compared to his deserts), as "foolishness," and the erection 
of the monument to his memory as sinful waste. 

I am sorry for my heroine. She loved the wrong man ; 
and was more attracted by Lord Trelusa's character of 
mingled good and evil, than by that of Mr. Ferrers, which 
stood out on the horizon a perfect monolith, without crack 
or flaw. 

Surely, thought Sabina, the vessel sailing prosperously 
without a fault to be found in her shape, rigging, or man- 
agement, is an object of less interest than that of the one 
which 

" Howling winds drive, devious, tempest tost, 
Sails rent, seams opening wide, and compass lost." 

And if such a one be saved, what a subject of rejoicing to 
those who have hazarded something for the rescue ! 

" But probably he has forgotten me," she said ; but she 
hoped he had not. 

She visited Alice at the Abbey Farm, who entreated her 
to come and stay a little while there, that she might wait 
upon her, and have some company. Her master was always 
doing some good deed in different places, and was seldom 
at home. She was afraid he would go after the savages in 
the hot countries some day ; and Alice was sure there were 
savages enough at home. 

This was getting near a subject too painful for discussion; 
so Sabina made her a small present, which so wrought on 

her mind, that she sent her respects to Mrs. Susan Sorrel 

a great concession, of which Sabina made the most in re- 
peating it. 

It was time now to return to Tregear, for Lady Sarah had 
grown weary of the sea. 

Sabina, who feared Lord Trelusa might return, and find 
her with his mother, made a desperate effort to return, to 
Exeter, instead of accompanying her friend. 



Sabina. 403 

" If he finds me here, he will think I am awaiting his 
arrival, to put myself in his way," she argued to herself. 

Lady Sarah only begged she would wait till she had a 
companion. 

" If Trelusa were here I should not be so lonely," she 
said. 

One day her ladyship received a letter, announcing his 
arrival in London. 

" I wonder why he has not come down at once ? " she 
said, meditatively. 

Sabina said nothing, for a thick letter, on foreign paper, 
was on the table by the side of her plate, but she did not 
like to open it then. 

After breakfast she wandered out under the trees, now 
full-leaved, in the luxuriance of their midsummer glory, and 
opened her letter. It ran thus : — 

"It depends on you, Sabina, whether I return to 
Tregear, or continue a wanderer for a few years longer. I 
owe you gratitude, for having taken the place that I ought 
to have occupied by the side of my mother. Yet, but for 
you, I should not have left England ; and you only fulfilled 
the duty your unkindness had caused me to neglect. Do 
not, I implore you, refuse your pardon for a fault so deeply 
deplored, and so greatly punished, as mine has been. 

" Oh ! I do so long to see you again, my child ! Some- 
times I feel so sick at heart — so utterly depressed at our 
separation — that life is distasteful to me. Then I remember 
that you may yet be won — that you cannot be altogether 
and for ever implacable. When will this separation end ? 

"Two years have already passed since I saw you ; saw 
your 'face flushed with anger — your lips compressed with 
resolution — resolution adverse to my hopes. Will you never 
soften with womanly tenderness ? 

"I have mixed with society, both foreign and English, 
since we met. I have tried to interest myself in other 
people and other circumstances ; but one thought, one 
desire, pervades my whole existence. I knew not till now, 
tha I had such capabilities of constant devotion to one 
person. You cannot tell with how incessant a yearning I 
pine to be with you once again. May I come ? Perhaps 
if I saw you again, and again you repulsed me, the charm 
26 — 2 



404 Sabina. 

might be broken, and I should love you less. I will not 
force myself on your society without your permission. I 
will, if you decline seeing me, ask Lady Sarah to join me in 
town. 

" If you have no sympathy with what I suffer, you must 
forgive the expression of it. I have given no sign now for 
many months. Vesuvius is not always in a state of erup- 
tion, though the elements are ever burning in its depths. 

" Trelusa." 

This letter had been delayed, and Sabina felt grieved that 
he must have expected to find an answer of some kind in 
town, and have been disappointed. 

Lady Sarah wrote : — 

" My dear Wilfred, 

" You must really come down as soon as you can. 
It is far too hot to be in town now, especially as I am in 
mourning for your great aunt, and therefore I cannot go out 
just yet. Sabina has been so good as to nurse me back to 
health, but she seems very impatient to return to her home. 

" Have you brought me that Genoa velvet I mentioned 
to you ? It will be useful next winter ; and, as Sabina says 
truly, there is nothing which makes the skin so dazzlingly 
fair, where the complexion is like mine. She is really an 
excellent girl, and a first-rate musician, and suits me exactly. 
If, my dear son, you could get over her want of rank, and 
your dislike to a dark beauty — a taste in which I entirely 
concur — you might find her rather agreeable than not, as a 
wife. 

" I shall expect you as soon as you can make it con- 
venient to come." 

Lady Sarah closed her letter, and sealed it. 

" Put it into the bag in the hall for me, my dear," she 
said, addressing Sabina. 

She obeyed ; but first wrote four letters over the seal 

" Come." 

Sabina settled on Susan the interest of her five hundred 
pounds, and proposed that she should continue to live with 
her. She found, however, that Susan preferred a cottage of 
her own in Deepindale, in the occupation of which she could 



Sabina. 



4°5 



amuse herself by exasperating Mrs. Cressy and the inhabit- 
ants generally, by the account of the wealth, magnificence, 
and happiness of her dear young lady. 

Sabina furnished Susan's house with those articles which 
had done duty so long in Haven House, and which it had 
been her happiness for so many years of her life to clean, 
and polish, and mend. 

Our heroine married her lover, and had no reason to re- 
pent her choice. He had sinned from the wilfulness of a 
nature which from long indulgence could brook no control. 
She led him to choose the right path in his future life, and 
infused into his children much of her own strength of char- 
acter. The infant child of the unhappy Mabel had died 
during Lord Trelusa's travels on the continent, and he was 
thus released from a painful portion of the past. His eldest 
son by Sabina was named Michael, after the old man whose 
memory he respected and Sabina loved. With her boys 
clustering round her knees, the young mother would relate 
the daring and unselfish actions performed by their great 
uncle, and rejoice in the eager looks of interest, and the 
glistening eyes which expressed their yearning sympathy 
with all that was great and good. 



THE END. 



W. H. SMITH AND SON, PBINTKHS, 186, BTBAND, W.C. 



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OLIVE. 

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